TGI Fridays, the casual dining bar restaurant chain with over 700 restaurants in 54 countries worldwide has partnered with Sam Nazarian’s C3, (Creating Culinary Communities) which has quickly become a fast-growing food-tech platform today. The company is re-imagining the food service industry by tapping into the power of exceptional culinary talent, digital brand IP, and bringing its portfolio of more than 40 culinary brands to C3 established shared kitchens and mobile delivery with the next-gen GO by Citizens app.
The groundbreaking partnership between C3 and TGI Fridays includes a significant investment by Nazarian and C3 into TGI Fridays and a board seat. This gives the Fridays’ team access to C3’s popular digital restaurant brands to be produced out of Fridays’ kitchens nationwide. Plans for expansion include C3 digital kitchens in 170 TGI Fridays company owned stores in the US. Additionally, the partnership will provide TGI Fridays access to C3’s proprietary Go by Citizens app. The Go by Citizens app provides a digital culinary market experience where consumers can order from multiple C3 digital restaurant brands in one transaction, with no hidden delivery fees. The average for orders on the app is 78 percent higher than any other client on C3 partner Lunchbox’s hosting platform, showcasing the strength of the proprietary technology.
An early trendsetter of the digital restaurant industry, C3 has more than 40 culinary brands, serving more than 1.3 million meals during the last twelve months. Popular C3 brands include Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi, Cicci di Carne, Cindy Lou’s Cookies, Soom Soom Fresh Mediterranean as well as new concepts El Pollo Verde, Plant Nation and Sa’Moto. C3’s omnichannel approach to harness the ordering power of Gen-Z and Millennials proves an attractive asset for TGI Fridays as the team aims to expand into the post-Covid era of third party ordering.
Early on, C3 recognized the importance of Gen-Z’s economic power which is the fastest growing of all generational cohorts and one of the major demographics reshaping the landscape of food and beverage.
TGI Fridays partnership in C3 is a game changer, providing world class digital culinary brands that can be cooked out of any restaurant kitchen. The deal provides for expanding kitchen utilization capacity and generating up to an additional $1 million per outlet.
“As the restaurant industry continues to adapt to changing consumer demographics and tastes, we are thrilled to partner with C3 and expand our capacity to provide innovative meals to today’s discerning consumer,” says Ray Blanchette, the CEO of TGI Fridays. “We feel our work with Sam and his team will allow us to further build on the exceptional performance we have been able to deliver in the post-covid environment. We are leveraging the opportunity to sell both in-restaurant experiences and high quality delicious food in a multi-channel off premises environment.
Rohit Manocha the co-founder of TriArtisan, emphasized the revolutionary aspects of this partnership by stating that digitally enabled virtual brands showcasing highly desirable customer cuisines fulfilled from last mile quality kitchens such as Fridays’ restaurants represent the future.
The test phase of the TGI Fridays and C3 partnership rolled out this past month in key markets in Orange County and Maryland and with C3’s iconic brand Krispy Rice, which centers on gourmet sushi boxes featuring handrolls, maki cut rolls, nigiri and chef-curated combinations. Sales have been impressive, nearly doubling from the first week and continuing to grow. Plans included additional roll out to TGI Friday locations across the country.
Commenting on the partnership’s early success, Sam Nazarian, C3s Founder and CEO says, “The partnership with TGI Fridays has been our utmost priority at C3. As an American institution, TGI Friday’s already had significant scale in operation. We’re aiming to complement this scale, by providing our food tech ecosystem and renowned digital restaurant brands. I’m excited to see more C3 restaurant brands cooked out of TGI Friday’s kitchens and to join together as perfect partners in the digital kitchen revolution!”
TGI Fridays currently has over 700 restaurants in 54 countries. C3 currently has over 250 digital brand locations across the U.S with an expansion pipeline to well over 1,000. To date, C3 has hired more than 3,500 employees across the U.S. with plans to hire another 5,000 employees domestically and internationally with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.