TGI Fridays Just Jumped On The Virtual Kitchen Bandwagon

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot has changed about indoor dining. In 2020, TGI Fridays announced that it could close up to 20% of its dining locations, which was disappointing news for loyal customers. But although some TGI Fridays restaurants had to shut down, the chain isn't done with all of its ideas yet. Now, TGI Fridays is pivoting toward takeout and delivery services with a spinoff from the original chain. This new concept is called Fridays on the Fly.

Per FSR Magazine, during the pandemic, a good portion of TGI Fridays' sales came from outside the actual restaurant. The website reported that in 2021, delivery orders made up 17% to 20% of the chain's sales, and other off-premise sales came from to-go orders. Fridays on the Fly will lean into off-premise sales, and the chain has also been making its way into the digital space, establishing itself with a rewards program, and improving online ordering.

What does a virtual kitchen mean for TGI Fridays?

It turns out, this isn't the first time that TGI Fridays has tried a virtual kitchen concept. FSR Magazine writes that in 2021, TGI Fridays partnered with REEF Kitchens and started 300 ghost kitchens as well as C3. C3, whose name stands for "Creating Culinary Communities," and TGI Fridays started the virtual brand Krispy Rice. According to Restaurant Dive, sales from Krispy Rice got off to a good start.

But if you prefer to sit down at a TGI Fridays and enjoy the full restaurant experience, don't worry. TGI Fridays didn't close down in-person dining completely, so you can reap the benefits on Fridays on the Fly while having the classic sit-down experience. While the company hasn't announced how many Fridays on the Fly units it's aiming for, the company's president and chief operating officer, John Neitzel, said, "The sky's the limit in terms of potential," according to Restaurant Business. Part of that optimism might be grounded in the fact that TGI Fridays has already run small restaurants in Europe. In the meantime, fans of the brand will just have to keep an eye out for more information.