The Summer of Fridays kicked off Friday, May 23, with the launch of the TGI Fridays Handcrafted America Tour, a multi-city journey through the hottest sights and sounds of the U.S. The tour features two custom-built food sampling trucks that will serve up free tastes from the new summer menu at Fridays, including a slider version of the All-American Burger, Ahi Tuna Crisps, and the popular Best Fridays Margarita.

"We're very proud of our new summer menu, featuring a variety of handcrafted items carefully developed by our culinary team to appeal to almost every palate," says Brian Gies, senior vice president, chief marketing officer. "Our guests expect food and drink innovation with an emphasis on taste and quality. Getting the new menu items out on the road and into the hands and mouths of both current and future guests allows us to discover unique people and places all over the country that epitomize what Fridays is all about."

The first tour stop was in Boston at the three-day Boston Calling Concert May 23-25 in City Hall Plaza. On Sunday, May 25, a second truck set up at the Soundset Concert in Shakopee, Minnesota, outside of Minneapolis. From there, the trucks will visit major metropolitan areas where Fridays restaurants are located, including Detroit, Chicago, Louisville, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.  A complete list of tour dates and locations can be found at the tour's official website,

The handcrafted tour is about more than great food and drinks. Along the way, Fridays will identify and highlight fascinating and local hand-crafters at each tour stop, such as Bostonian Molly Rosner, the force behind the American Dream House original pop art paintings, clothing and home accessories; "San" Bellino, also of Boston, one of the few mobile baristas who is gaining popularity by delivering handcrafted espressos in his tricycle; and Chad and Brandy Dressen of Carver Junk Company, shopkeepers who specialize in handcrafted wares and furniture from local Minnesota artists. Full profiles of each handcrafter will be posted to the tour's website.

The tour concludes at the end of July and is expected to reach more than 1.2 million people.

A New Summer Menu with Expanded Offerings and Enhanced Gluten Sensitive Items

The Food Truck tour coincides with the national launch of a new menu at Fridays restaurants this month.

For the first time in 25 years, Fridays is abandoning the laminated menu and launching a sleek and refined hardcover menu with a natural-textured finish and bold photographs that communicate the brand's handcrafted quality. Every menu item will get elevated, including the signature menu items that will be revitalized with flavorful accompaniments. The menu is part of a massive ongoing brand re-image, which includes a new look and feel of Fridays restaurants, an updated logo, and the revamped in-restaurant menu.

The new menu includes an enhanced gluten sensitive section, offering 19 menu choices including appetizers like the Tuscan Spinach Dip and delicious grilled entrée options like Baby Back Ribs and Grilled Norwegian Salmon with Langostino Lobster.

The menu will also feature more quality enhancements like hickory smoked sea salt as the perfect seasoning blend for the 100 percent USDA Choice fresh steaks and Jack Daniel's Grill, new sides like cheddar macaroni & cheese and fresh spinach, and grilled lobster tail topped with parmesan butter as a new add-on so guests can customize their own entrees.

Fridays continues to shake things up at the bar, with the addition of new handcrafted cocktails including a Double-Berry Mojito, a Blackberry Long Island Tea Shaker, and a new Jack Daniel's Peach Honey Smash, as well as two new teas: Strawberry Passion Fruit and Tropical Raspberry.

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