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Chilis to open doors Monday
A-Chilis to open pic1
Corporate Chilis trainers teach new employees how to interact with customers - photo by Allie Dean Dawson County News

The grand opening of the Chili's Grill & Bar at Dawson Crossroads on Georgia 400 is set for Monday.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:45 a.m., and the restaurant will be open for business at 11 a.m.

Chili's will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. The store is at 60 Crossroads Blvd.

Set in a prominent outparcel position overlooking the Ga. 400 and Dawson Forest intersection, the restaurant employs around 80 waiters, hosts, bartenders, cooks and other staff. Most of the employees come from Dawsonville, said Managing Partner Ginny Hatch, and are busy preparing for the opening week.

"Right now we're just getting everything in place, getting our first couple of deliveries and getting everyone trained up," Hatch said.

The employees have gone through their regular training and will soon have friends and family come for another training session to help them prepare.

"Our friends and family events are starting on Thursday, Sept. 22, and that's the big, real-life training that we have, with role-play scenarios for the new team members," Hatch said.

The "hardcore" training started on Monday, when corporate trainers came to the store from all over the country to lend their expertise to the new staff.

Dawsonville's Chili's restaurant is one of more than 30 locations in Georgia, and one of 1,600 stores open worldwide. There is now a Chili's restaurant in 33 countries, with Tunisia being the latest country to get a store.

Residents of Dawson County have been highly anticipating the opening of the restaurant, and if Hatch's predictions are correct, they will come out in full force when the store opens.

"We're expecting to do around $80,000 in sales the first week, so we think we'll have around 6,500 guests in the first week," Hatch said. "But I'm hoping it's more than that."

Hatch said she's grateful for the support she's received already from patrons.

"I'm excited about being in Dawsonville, it's a great little community and everyone has been so welcoming," she said. "The excitement around us getting here has been amazing."

The restaurant is one of many chains coming to the Dawson Crossroads shopping center this fall.

Other stores at the shopping center include Publix, which is expected open in October, as well as Petsmart, Great Clips, Brooklyn Joe's Pizzeria, Lee Nails, Totally Running, Top Cleaners and Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. An AT&T store and Aspen Dental are already open.