Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

CIFT and Gold Star Chili Partner On Product Development and More


GSR Brands is a restaurant group consisting of Gold Star Chili and Tom + Chee. The company began in 1964 when the Daoud brothers raised the money to purchase Hamburger Heaven – a successful hamburger restaurant in Cincinnati. The brothers set out to follow their own recipe and make their chili truly unique. In 1965, the Daoud brothers changed the name of their restaurant to honor their delicious new recipe - Gold Star Chili.

Today, they still make their chili in small batches with the same hand-blended spices from 13 countries, selected at the peak of freshness. The Gold Star recipe is still secretly guarded, and to this day has only been entrusted to THREE people! Gold Star Chili continues to be a favorite location to enjoy the Cincinnati chili tradition and can be found throughout, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. 

The Challenge

Gold Star Chili required the Ohio MEP | CIFT's technical support for a variety of retail and restaurant related products that required some level of product and/or process improvements. CIFT's technical expertise was also needed to help increase Gold Star's production capacity. 
I can unequivocally say, without the expertise provided by CIFT across a wide variety of needs, most of our projects would take longer, cost more, and possibly fail. We are able to get more done with less people when they take on 'one off' projects. Our senior leadership has the greatest confidence in CIFT recommendations. This, in turn, greatly reduces anxiety about the decisions we are making. 
— John Wang, Commissary Director

MEP's Role

CIFT, part of the Ohio MEP and the MEP National Network™, continues to be agile in addressing Gold Star's needs in a timely manner by providing real world experience in the areas of food safety, process engineering and product development. Components of those services included food safety consulting, sourcing co-manufacturers, recipe testing, and heating validation and engineering studies. CIFT also provided on-site technical support, product improvements, engineering and supply chain recommendations.
Created October 31, 2023