So what does this mean for TGI Fridays?
With the younger generations predicted to vastly outnumber Baby Boomers and Gen X in the next few years, it seems like pedestrian choices like mozzarella sticks and whiskey-glazed sliders aren't going to cut it much longer. Even if millennials do have a hankering for some TGI Fridays' loaded potato skins, Business Insider reports that they are far less likely to come into the restaurant to order them, and will opt for delivery instead. While offering delivery to a demographic that values convenience and time may seem like a no-brainer for casual-dining chain restaurants, the logistics of it require added expenses for the restaurants, who now have to cope with additional insurance, and the cost of employing drivers.
Third-party delivery services, like Grubhub or DoorDash which TGI Fridays uses for locations, can ease the burden for chains that are anxious to offer delivery, but take quality control out of the company's hands, while also keeping a chunk of the company's take on each order. And what about drinks? Beverages, especially alcoholic ones, drive sales at casual-dining restaurants. One possible solution? A test program run by TGI Fridays in Texas that offered delivery customers a way to get that cocktail after all — but it means two stops for delivery drivers who must fetch the food and mixers at the restaurant, and the proper booze at a nearby liquor store.
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And yes, the drivers are trained to check for photo ID before they pass off your tequila. No doggie bags, no substitutions, and sharing was discouraged. One Gawker writer put TGI Fridays to the test, and spent 14 hours in a Brooklyn location painfully polishing off eight plates of mozzarella sticks, just to see if they would cut her off. They didn't. The promotion seemed like an interesting, limited time sort of thing — but then TGI Fridays did the unthinkable, and added the promotion permanently to their menu , with some locations allowing you to now switch up the app you choose for your next refill.
What can a seemingly money-losing promotion like bottomless appetizers mean for the quality of food you are getting, or the level of service you will receive from Endless-App-weary waitstaff?
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According to many consumer reviews , it's only gone downhill. Complaints include servers not allowing doggie bags for other ordered items, and deliberately ringing in refill plates 30 minutes and more late to encourage guests to give up and leave. Some folks report that the apps you get at some locations are poor quality , and not up to the standards they had remembered from previous years.
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While the chain has vowed to do a complete overhaul of its menu by the end of , with new additions like fire grilled meats and seafood, and larger servings of fan favorites like baby back ribs, it hasn't been enough to win over the hearts of everyone who visits. Writers from Business Insider made a visit to a Manhattan location to sample the new and revamped menu items, and reported their experience, which included a ho-hum margarita, dry chicken wings, difficult-to-cut ribs, and mediocre potato skins.
A newly added veggie burger and red velvet milkshake also failed to make the grade. The mozzarella sticks, however, were given definitive thumbs up. Noted was the attempt by TGI Fridays to stray from the casual-dining concept, and focus more on their bar and apps. Considering that TGI Friday's has become the place to go for possibly lousy, deep-fried appetizers, the fact is that their food is not perceived to be very healthy.
When pitted against fast casual chains that offer fresh ingredients, global flavors, and more ways to customize menu items, TGI Fridays may have to rethink their standardized offerings of frozen-in-the-factory fare. If you visit a Chipotle restaurant, you can see someone making the fresh guacamole using real avocados. Visit a TGI Fridays, and the appetizers look and smell exactly the same as the TGI Fridays branded frozen appetizers available at your local supermarket. It's not just fast casual restaurants offering potential customers healthier meals with more variety.
Grocery chains have now increased the ready-made meals available for purchase, and have increasingly added delivery to the services they offer. Meal delivery kits , like Blue Apron or Dinnerly, give people what they need to create a restaurant-quality meal at home — using fresh ingredients and little to no processed foods. With the young generations expecting healthier fare to be part of a tasty and economical meal, chains like TGI Fridays may be left in the dust. While millennials are criticized for the downward trajectory of casual-dining chains like TGI Fridays, it may actually be the economy that gives us a clearer picture of why these once popular chains are failing to attract more customers.
TGI Fridays has always been a restaurant that was aimed at middle class America. So the decline of the middle class in the US may be what's to blame for the loss of love for restaurants like TGI Fridays. CNBC reports that while 70 percent of Americans consider themselves to be middle class, the actual number of middle class families has been declining for decades, and represents closer to 50 percent of the country.
Even families earning six figures can fall into this bracket, especially in more expensive areas of the country. Sure, the middle class is declining, but people gotta eat somewhere, right? So if the lower earners are opting for fast food, where are the remaining middle class folks, and even the upper income earners eating? At locally owned restaurants, of course! Urbanization, and the revitalization of formerly blighted downtown areas, has paved the way for an uptick in the amount of independently owned establishments opening across the country, particularly in the top ten to 20 major metropolitan areas.
Why dine on deep-fried apps in a shopping mall parking lot, when you can enjoy a "farm-to-table" meal that looks like it was prepared by a contestant on Top Chef? The Nation's Restaurant News addresses a report from consulting firm Pentallect, indicating that independent restaurants are expected to see up to 5 percent growth by — almost double the amount of growth predicted for national chain restaurants like TGI Fridays. Consumers surveyed rated independent restaurants as winning in 12 out of 15 attributes studied, praising locally owned establishments for sharing their values, delivering higher quality food and service, and offering more innovative menus and decor.
Says Bob Goldin from Pentallect, "People, especially millennials, are moving downtown to more gentrifying neighborhoods, and they're frequenting local establishments that are winning on these factors. No such thing as bad publicity? We'd venture to say that's definitely not the case when you are a casual-dining chain that gets busted for selling fake booze to its bar customers. And what did the officers find when they raided the 29 establishments that were involved in the sting?
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Not only were some switching premium brands with low-cost alcohol, but also truly disgusting trickery like serving rubbing alcohol mixed with caramel coloring instead of scotch, and filling liquor bottles with dirty water. While it was not revealed to the public exactly which of the restaurants were serving the dirty water, we can't imagine there weren't many folks willing to take that gamble.
TGI Fridays issued a statement shortly after the humiliating scandal, saying of the allegations "If accurate, they would represent a violation of our company's values and our extensive bar and beverage standards which are designed to deliver the highest guest experience in our restaurants. According to YouGov , one of the biggest deal-breakers for customers is finding out that a brand is treating their employees poorly. It's one of the top three reasons people stop frequenting a place, and once that happens, seven in ten will never go back.
And that's why labor scandals for TGI Fridays have been such a big deal. In the wake of news that UK staff would get a portion of front-of-house service charge payments instead of getting a raise for , YouGov saw TGI Fridays "impression score" — basically, how favorably the brand is seen — take a nose-dive. That's not the only issues they've had when it comes to keeping staff happy. I took your advice and have claimed PPI from all the companies we had loans with. Latest Money Tips Email. We check every deal, but if something's changed, please report it.
Ensure you compare prices first , offers aren't necessarily cheapest. There's a risk any company can struggle, so learn to Shop Safely. If you spot any hot deals out there we have missed we are human after all! It can be any standard cocktail or mocktail, but doesn't include 'ultimate cocktails'. The reward will appear in the app one week before your birthday and must be used on or before the expiry date shown in the app.
You'll not be able to get cocktails in Scotland due to licensing laws, and this offer is not available in Northern Ireland and can't be used with any other discount. The offer's for new and existing app users — if you don't have it already, you can download it from Google Play or the App Store. TGI Fridays says you'll get a notification of the offer via the app.
It's available at all 79 TGI Fridays restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales, and you don't need to buy any food or drink if you just want the freebie. The chick-cone pictured is waffle cones filled with pico de gallo, spicy guacamole, Monterey Jack cheese, and cajun chicken topped with chillies. This deal has expired - you can't get it any more. We've kept it here for reference. See more TGI Fridays deals. It's valid on all main courses, including its Manhattan and Christmas menus, subject to availability. Due to licensing laws, Scottish restaurants included in the list will substitute the prosecco with a bottomless soda.
There's a little-known piece of legislation that turns any credit card into a financial self-defence superhero. Known as Chargeback, this is part of banks' and card companies' internal rules and not a legal requirement. Read full details of Section 75 or Chargeback, plus how to claim, in our guides.
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