Americans are busier than ever, and that extends to lunch breaks. According to a recent study commissioned by TGI Fridays, the majority of U.S. workers suffer from “FOLO”—otherwise known as a “Fear of Lunching Out.” This syndrome can leave employees feeling unproductive and void of creativity. Recognizing this, Fridays is introducing a break-worthy new lunch menu and quick mobile pay options, inspiring America to Make Lunch Count again. The data supporting “dining al desko” is staggering. Seventy-three percent of Americans eat lunch at their desks at least twice a week, with one-third eating at their desk every day.

“With the 24/7 connectivity today in corporate America, somehow the lunch hour has been left behind. Fridays has always been a place where co-workers can connect, socialize and decompress over great food and drinks,” says Brian Gies, Chief Marketing Officer at TGI Fridays. “We want to remind people that taking this time to recharge is important. Since our study showed that cost and convenience are a couple of the top causes of FOLO, we’ve designed the new midday menu to be fresh and great-tasting, as well as fast and easy, with new mobile pay and our ‘On the Double’ lunch pairings.”

America’s Most “Lunching Out” Deprived Cities

This quest to save lunch must be taken on, city-by-city and town-by-town. Focusing on the places that have the highest lunching out deficit, Fridays has declared them as most prone to FOLO and therefore in need of a quick lunch.

1. Baltimore; 2. Orlando; 3. Columbus, Ohio; 4. Sacramento, California; 5. Salt Lake City, Utah; 6. Phoenix; 7. Washington, D.C.; 8. San Francisco; 9. Hartford, Connecuticut; 10. New York City.

National Make Lunch Count Day: April 13

Fridays is starting a lunch movement and has declared April 13 as National Make Lunch Count Day to remind Americans to get away from desks, boost their productivity and creativity, and have some fun in the process. Workers are encouraged to share their lunch break using #NationalMakeLunchCountDay. Fridays will award hundreds of these FOLO-defectors with free lunch for two at Fridays in the form of a $25 electronic gift card.

Available in participating restaurants and featuring handcrafted new sandwiches, fresh smoothies, slushes and juices:

  • Truffle Stacked Burger: A blend of four cheeses with truffle oil, onion-bacon jam, and Asiago between two fresh burgers with truffle aioli and applewood-smoked bacon.
  • Mediterranean Mahi Mahi Naan’ Wich: Grilled Mahi Mahi drizzled with balsamic glaze on naan bread with cucumber yogurt sauce, balsamic-glazed onions, garlic, basil & Roma tomato bruschetta and mixed greens with kale.
  • California Chicken Club: All-natural chicken breast grilled, chilled and sliced on a freshly baked toasted baguette with bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, freshly chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, and yogurt aioli.
  • Green with Passion Smoothie: Mango and passion fruit purées, fresh agave sour and fresh kale.
  • Poppin’ Boba: Zico Coconut Water, organic agave, lime juice, lemon juice, with bursting Strawberry and/or Mango Boba pearls.
  • Cherry Limeade Slush: Lemonade, maraschino cherries, fresh agave sour served over slush ice.
  • Paradise Punch: Freshly squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice, and guava puree
  • Tickled Pink: Freshly Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice, guava puree, and soda water.
  • VitaminWater XXX: Açai-blueberry-pomegranate nutrient enhanced bottle water.

Fridays now offers “On the Double” Lunch Pairing options featuring the choice of one appetizer, such as a Turkey Kale Soup or Caesar Salad, paired with entrées worthy of a trip down the escalator, including the Italian Pretzel Grinder, Chipotle Yucatan Chicken Salad and Jack Sliders, all priced at $6.99 to $8.99 depending on the menu option. 

In addition to the fresh new lunch menu, the Fridays website and mobile app had a recent refresh with a new look, feel, and enhanced functionality. The new version of the app is completely redesigned, and now supports mobile payments at select locations with a “Pay the Check” functionality, allowing guests to pay their bill through the app. It also includes a Restaurant Locator, the “Give Me More Stripes” Rewards Program and a Menu Tab.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, T.G.I. Friday's