Right portion, right business model
Shrimp Key West from T.G.I. Friday's new Right Portion, Right Price menu
TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: TGIF. I mean that sincerely, but we're also gonna talk about the restaurant chain T.G.I. Fridaya€™s. Fridaya€™s is trying something new: smaller portions and cheaper prices. Imagine that in America. But it seems to be working, as Jeremy Hobson reports.
Jeremy Hobson: Usually, in the restaurant business, bigger is better — Whoppers, Big Gulps and those enormous Cheesecake Factory salads.
John Glass: Historically, chains that have offered large portions or a great price value have done better.
John Glass is a restaurant analyst for CIBC World Markets. He says the super-size strategy has always been popular with customers. So going smaller was a risk.
Richard Snead: Riskier than I thought in those first 60 days.
Richard Snead is the CEO of the company that owns Friday's. He says despite tense times early on, the customer count has started climbing — and check averages have increased.
Snead: Right now, we are outperforming the category. And by the way, it is a soft environment for casual dining right now.
Analysts say the Friday's model's success might not be about the waistline or even the bottom line. They say it's about choice — and maybe not having to deal with a doggie bag.
I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.