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.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.