How TGI Fridays landed on these items isn’t complex. It sent emails to rewards members and let them decide. Research showed what the chain could offer that would bring guests in and drive traffic, Syracuse says. It’s simply a lineup of best-sellers.
“We felt there was nothing being offered under the filter of uniting people of all stripes,” she says. “In a time and era where there is strife in our country, around the world, everybody can agree on a $5 cheeseburger and fries.”
Putting classics into the value pool was important for other reasons, too. Firstly, customers didn’t need an education about why they should drop by. “When you have an every day of the week offer it has to be simple,” Syracuse says. “Or has to be items people like, understand, and want to come back for.”
In other terms, a signature product they recognize, love, and look forward to. Just now with a price point that gets them through the door ahead of schedule.
“In order to keep it simple, your menu, you can’t proliferate it with too many options,” she adds. “So, taking items that people like and making them accessible is another strategy rather than just to LTO it.”
It was also critical from an operations perspective. The rollout didn’t require any significant added training. There were some supply considerations. But, mostly, servers and employees just need to know which days present which deals, and how to speak to that differentiation. Doing so wasn’t difficult or a leap in a bold, new direction, Syracuse says, because employees were as familiar and fond of these choices as customers were. And that sentiment shines through during the ordering process.
“We feel very strongly with our team members, our restaurant teams, our bartenders, our hosts, hostesses, your experience is only great if the people delivering it believe in it and are happy and feel proud about it,” she says.
“We think the team member’s expectations should exceed that of the guest’s.”
The everyday deals are part of an overarching concept for TGI Fridays that’s driving its innovation: Unite people through accessible experiences that stretch from food to atmosphere to digital pathways. And value is now a big part of that. It leaves no end open, Syracuse says. “We talk about accessible value, and we have a really strong focus now on making sure there’s something for everyone,” she says. “You need a value option? Great, here’s a $3 draft or $5 signature margarita. You come in for dinner, with a date before the movies? We’ve got great-priced feast items. You really crave a steak and a family meal? We have that, too.”
TGI Fridays, which has 800 units globally, has had much of that covered since its outset in 1965, Syracuse says. But in today’s crowded market, getting customers to visit and then trade up, grow their check through add-ons, like drinks or apps, and return for the same experience, is a lot more difficult than just opening as many stores as possible, as quick as possible—an approach many casual brands took only a couple of decades ago.