T.G.I. Friday’s Re-Branding Puts Their New Great Food in the Spotlight

New idea? Focus on the food.

Re-branding yourself is a tricky proposition.  You never really know how a re-branding effort will work out for you.  Will it resonate with new customers without alienating the old ones?  Do people really care?  It’s hard to say.

So hearing that T.G.I. Friday’s was shaking things up made me a bit nervous.  Not that I was thinking about T.G.I. Friday’s at all, before last week.  Frankly they had faded in to the background of that white noise known as “casual dining.”  Yes, I loved them as a kid, but what were they doing now?  What sort of re-branding effort were they undertaking?  What’s the gimmick?  Well, what they’re doing is no gimmick, and frankly, its pretty exciting.

You see, T.G.I. Friday’s is focusing on food again.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but in reality this could turn out to be a master stroke for T.G.I. Fridays.

A little history for you.  About a three decades ago, T.G.I. Friday’s was an innovator.  Their menu had options that many folks had never seen at the time.  A 9-layer dip?   Using the freshest ingredients in the kitchen?  Unthinkable!  But as time went by, T.G.I. Friday’s fell into the same trap as all the other casual dining chains.  They got lost in the shuffle.

Deviled Eggs from T.G.I. Friday's new menu

The T.G.I. Friday’s people decided to take a look around as noticed that there was a niche in the casual dining market that wasn’t being catered to.  The “foodie” market.  They noticed that, though television ratings for food shows weren’t growing, the number of educated eaters was on the rise.  This was their heritage, after all.

So T.G.I. Friday’s brought in Roger Kaplan to revamp the menu try and get T.G.I. Friday’s back to its roots of using fresh ingredients at all their locations (Opting to get away from the pre-packaging of so many other chains ), and creating innovative menu options that T.G.I. Friday’s was once known for.

“We’re not trying to create a new T.G.I. Friday’s,”  Kaplan said, “we’re just reinventing back to our heritage to put the shine back on what we do.”

T.G.I. Friday's wants to food to shine

And truly the food is no joke.  The appetizer menu has unique selections like cheddar deviled eggs and hummus that hearken back to T.G.I Friday’s outside the box roots.  The portions are larger as well, designed for people to share, which is something Kaplan thinks T.G.I. Friday’s needed recapture.  Finally T.G.I. Friday’s made sure to create several new, tasty vegetarian selections so those not inclined toward meat won’t feel left out as they have in the past.

“We wanted to do something more for vegetarians that steamed broccoli,” Kaplan said.  They have, and items such as the Mediterranean Veggie Pizza will attract us meat eaters as well.

Vegetarians deserve good food too.

So will T.G.I. Friday’s new focus on food put them back at the top of the casual dining mountain?  We’re not sure, but by getting back to their roots and re-branding itself back to when they were the food innovators, T.G.I. Friday’s is putting the focus back where it should be…on the food.

And that’s definitely a good thing.

 

 

 

 

T.G.I. Friday's Re-Branding Puts Their New Great Food in the Spotlight

New idea? Focus on the food.

Re-branding yourself is a tricky proposition.  You never really know how a re-branding effort will work out for you.  Will it resonate with new customers without alienating the old ones?  Do people really care?  It’s hard to say.

So hearing that T.G.I. Friday’s was shaking things up made me a bit nervous.  Not that I was thinking about T.G.I. Friday’s at all, before last week.  Frankly they had faded in to the background of that white noise known as “casual dining.”  Yes, I loved them as a kid, but what were they doing now?  What sort of re-branding effort were they undertaking?  What’s the gimmick?  Well, what they’re doing is no gimmick, and frankly, its pretty exciting.

You see, T.G.I. Friday’s is focusing on food again.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but in reality this could turn out to be a master stroke for T.G.I. Fridays.

A little history for you.  About a three decades ago, T.G.I. Friday’s was an innovator.  Their menu had options that many folks had never seen at the time.  A 9-layer dip?   Using the freshest ingredients in the kitchen?  Unthinkable!  But as time went by, T.G.I. Friday’s fell into the same trap as all the other casual dining chains.  They got lost in the shuffle.

Deviled Eggs from T.G.I. Friday's new menu

The T.G.I. Friday’s people decided to take a look around as noticed that there was a niche in the casual dining market that wasn’t being catered to.  The “foodie” market.  They noticed that, though television ratings for food shows weren’t growing, the number of educated eaters was on the rise.  This was their heritage, after all.

So T.G.I. Friday’s brought in Roger Kaplan to revamp the menu try and get T.G.I. Friday’s back to its roots of using fresh ingredients at all their locations (Opting to get away from the pre-packaging of so many other chains ), and creating innovative menu options that T.G.I. Friday’s was once known for.

“We’re not trying to create a new T.G.I. Friday’s,”  Kaplan said, “we’re just reinventing back to our heritage to put the shine back on what we do.”

T.G.I. Friday's wants to food to shine

And truly the food is no joke.  The appetizer menu has unique selections like cheddar deviled eggs and hummus that hearken back to T.G.I Friday’s outside the box roots.  The portions are larger as well, designed for people to share, which is something Kaplan thinks T.G.I. Friday’s needed recapture.  Finally T.G.I. Friday’s made sure to create several new, tasty vegetarian selections so those not inclined toward meat won’t feel left out as they have in the past.

“We wanted to do something more for vegetarians that steamed broccoli,” Kaplan said.  They have, and items such as the Mediterranean Veggie Pizza will attract us meat eaters as well.

Vegetarians deserve good food too.

So will T.G.I. Friday’s new focus on food put them back at the top of the casual dining mountain?  We’re not sure, but by getting back to their roots and re-branding itself back to when they were the food innovators, T.G.I. Friday’s is putting the focus back where it should be…on the food.

And that’s definitely a good thing.