Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey Can't Walk Into a Chili's Without Someone Bringing Up 'The Office'

The duo returns to Chili's as the faces of the chain's campaign to announce four new margaritas and more menu items.

<p>Courtesy of Chili

Courtesy of Chili's

Many memorable “firsts” might happen at a chain restaurant, from first dates to first kisses to first sizzling platter entrees. For the iconic NBC comedy series The Office, one (among so many) of the most popular episodes, “The Dundies,” marked the first time the cast ever ventured outside of the cubicle-filled set. And where was this fan-favorite episode shot? Chili’s.

Now, ten years since the show's finale, two former The Office stars — Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who also co-host the Office rewatch podcast “Office Ladies” — are partnering with Chili’s to launch the chain’s new margarita menu and its latest campaign, “It all starts with a marg.”

<p>Courtesy of Chili's</p>

Courtesy of Chili's

According to Chili’s, The Presidente Margarita, the chain’s top-seller since its introduction in 1994, shows guests appreciate a touch of luxe in their tequila drinks. With that in mind, two of Chili’s new premium margaritas are created with top-shelf tequila including Casamigos (Casamigos ‘Rita) and Teremana (Skinny ‘Rita). Moreover, they are also introducing two riffs on their classic margaritas with the addition of the Henny ‘Rita and Sangria ‘Rita. As the name hints, the Henny ‘Rita comprises Hennessy V.S. Cognac, Teremana Blanco Tequila, and Chili’s house-made fresh sour mix. The Sangria ‘Rita starts with Chili’s classic frozen margarita swirled with house-made red wine Sangria.

Related: Our Best Margarita Recipes

“We’re just really excited about this partnership. We both love Chili’s, and we love how our characters got to have so many iconic moments there,” Kinsey tells Food & Wine. “And as real-life best friends, we love a chance to grab lunch and catch up, and Chili's is a great place for a BFF lunch!”

We caught up with Kinsey and Fischer via email to ask about all things The Office and their mutual love of Chili’s.

What was memorable about filming “The Dundies” episode at Chili's?

Jenna Fischer: It was the first episode we filmed on location, the first time the entire cast left the bullpen and filmed somewhere else. I remember laughing so much all day — and they brought in Chili’s food — which was very exciting because we got to eat and work! A lot of people argue Jim and Pam had their first kiss at Chili’s.

Angela Kinsey: I also remember laughing so hard! I will never forget Rainn as Dwight playing silly sound effects on the keyboard throughout the Dundie Awards.

Have you been able to walk into a Chili's without it being "a thing" since?

JF: Absolutely not! I can’t walk into Chili’s without hearing, “Are you sure you’re allowed to be here?” or “Having a second drink?” My husband and I went to a Chili’s a few years ago, before the pandemic, and they were actually hosting an Office trivia night! That was wild.

AK: We go to Chili’s frequently — we always go in Colorado when we visit my husband’s family — and one time when I walked in, I got, “Are you here for the Dundie’s?”

Chili’s is known for its signature margaritas. What excites you about the four new margs and being part of the campaign?

AK: I have loved Chili’s margs for a long time, and the fact that they’re adding new ones is a big win. They make them so well! I’m really excited about the new Sangria ‘Rita. It’s the perfect summer cocktail.

JF: I love the new additions to the menu, especially the Sangria ‘Rita. Overall, I just feel like this is such an organic fit. I’ve made so many great memories at Chili’s, both in real life and fictionally, and now to be in a campaign with my best friend for the first time — it’s pretty organic and serendipitous.

What's your go-to Chili's order, and what would be your Office character’s favorite?

AK: Michael’s would for sure be baby back ribs, especially with the honey-chipotle sauce.

JF: My personal go-to is the chicken fajitas with corn tortillas. Pam would order a platter with Chicken Crispers and a bunch of dipping sauces. She’d get something people could share.

AK: I also love their fajitas. Angela Martin is a vegetarian. So, she’d love the new white cheddar mac and cheese. I also love Chili’s chips and guac — I could literally eat it every day.

What’s been the most surprising thing you've experienced while revisiting The Office via your podcast?

AK: Fans always ask us if things were improvised — and while we did improvise here and there, nine times out of ten things went down exactly as scripted, even little moments, like a glance to the camera, an eye roll, or shrug. I always knew how well our show was written, but it's been amazing to revisit the shooting drafts and see how even the smallest nonverbal moments were also in the script.

JF: Something I’ve learned is just how rewatchable it is. Each scene is so rich with these special little background moments. You see something new each time that you didn’t see the time before.

Ten years after the finale, what moments do you remember most?

JF: I immediately think of all our conference room scenes. We were all together, and inevitably, every time we’d all get jokey, everyone would be doing little bits on the side and in between takes.

AK: I agree. I was thinking the same thing! We spent days upon days in that tiny room together from sunup to sundown, and as a result, we shared a lot about our lives in that conference room.

And what do fans share with you as their most memorable moments from the show?

JF: We hear a lot of people love “The Dundies” episodes, also “The Dinner Party” episode — fans didn’t love that one at first, just because it is so awkward and tense, but now it’s a fan favorite.

AK: There are also so many iconic courtship moments, like “Casino Night,” when Jim tells Pam he loves her. A lot of fans also write in about the two big proposals. Which one was better:  Jam's or Dwangela's? I might be biased, but I'm gonna say, Dwight and Angela. I mean, ours had a megaphone.

JF: Fans always love Pam’s fake juggling, where she is mocking Deangelo Vickers, who was played by Will Ferrell.

AK: I always get asked if I really licked a cat’s face — yes, I did — but only one time.

Chili's new margaritas and other menu items are available starting today at locations across nationwide.

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