Applebees vs. Chilis: Your Favorite Restaurant

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Difference between Applebees and Chilis

For many people, Applebee’s and Chili’s represent the epitome of affordably priced and tasty good eats. In terms of variety and flavor, the two restaurants stand at the top of the fast-food chain. While the quality and nutritional value of their food has sometimes been called into question, there is no doubt that they do have their share of adherents, which is why a comparison between the two is quite fitting.

Food Range And Quality

Applebee's has a positively huge menu consisting of anything and everything from steaks and burgers to salads and sandwiches. The restaurant also prides itself on its wide selection of American, Italian, and Mexican cuisine, and it even has a line of Japanese dishes thrown in. Chili's has a similar selection, with the addition of a wide array of Southwestern dishes. This is in fact, Chili’s main claim to fame, and hungry eaters of a southwestern persuasion will surely cotton to the restaurant’s selection that includes egg rolls, nachos, buffalo wings, and tortilla chips with sumptuous dips. For those who are trying to avoid meat, Chili's also has an extensive selection of garden salads. Chili's also prides itself on a wide variety of side dishes that includes cinnamon apples, veggies, and mashed potatoes, all of which are available with any entrée for a couple of dollars. Rounding out the Chili’s menu is a selection of mouth-watering desserts such as chocolate cake, cheesecake, and chocolate chip pie.

Where Applebee’s stands out is in the quality of its dishes and the speed in which they are delivered. The restaurant’s appetizers are always seasoned perfectly and are available within minutes. Chili's does have a more varied array of appetizers, but they can take a long time to get to your table. Chili’s has also been the subject of complaints ranging from bland to over seasoned food, although their southwestern dishes are quite authentically flavored.

Quality Of Service

Applebee's takes the edge over Chili’s in the quality of service, with a staff that is always cheerful and attentive to the needs of the customer. At Chili’s, you can forget about courteous service during peak hours, although the staff is usually friendly enough when things are a bit slow. To its credit however, the Chili’s staff will usually come to your table frequently during your meal to ask if everything is okay or to find out if you need anything else. In terms of speed of service, Applebee's usually has your food ready in less than 20 minutes, while you would normally have to wait 30 to 35 minutes for your food to be delivered at Chili’s.


In terms of price, Applebee’s and Chili’s are pretty much the same, with appetizers coming in at the $7 to $9 range. Applebee’s does have the advantage in that the portions are generally bigger, and are in fact good enough for two people. Main dishes at both restaurants range from $7 to $12, and both places have similarly substantial servings. Desserts are Applebee’s and Chili’s generally cost around $5. All in all you could expect to pay around $18 to $20 per person at both places exclusive of tip.

Similarities and Differences


  • Has a huge menu ranging from steaks and burgers to salads and sandwiches
  • Has a wide selection of American, Italian, and Mexican dishes, and even has a line of Japanese dishes
  • Staff is always cheerful and attentive to your needs


  • Chili's has an extensive menu selection as well with the addition of a wide array of Southwestern dishes
  • Has an extensive selection of garden salads
  • Appetizers can take a long time to get to your table
  • Service is a bit harried during peak hours, although it is usually friendly enough when things are slow

Applebees and Chilis Video

Which restaurant has better appetizers?
  • Applebees
  • Chilis

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • Chilis Menu wrote on November 2010

The New Chilis Menu is awesome. If I had to pick though it would always be chilis. Maybe I'm just burnt on Applebees and if you really think about it there isn't much difference between the two. You nailed it when you said the two represent the epitome of tasty treats for a good price. Regardless, great recomparison!

  • Guest
  • benja wrote on September 2011

I used to be a regular at applebees but lately and very often my food was broght to the table cold so i changed to chilis and its great

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