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06/09/2010

One year ago: Norman Brinker

June 9, 2010 |  7:30 am

Brinker Norman Brinker had his own vision of fast food. He didn't want to waste any time developing repeat customers.

"You have about 45 minutes to convince the customer to come again; that's your objective," Brinker told the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper in 1991.

Brinker, who died a year ago today at 78, was an innovative restaurateur whose chains included Chili's, Bennigan's and Steak & Ale.

Chief among Brinker's new concepts for eateries was the salad bar, which he popularized at Steak & Ale starting in the late 1960s.

You can find the obituary that ran June 10, 2009, here.

--Keith Thursby

Photo: Norman Brinker at his Dallas home in 2004.

Credit: Associated Press

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