Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Would you spend $899/couple to eat at TGI Fridays?

by Ray Anderes

Not even on New Year's Eve? Neither would I! Even if it was at the "50 yard line."

I am always amazed at things I see restaurants do for New Year's Eve. Some of the places, as you see in the attached article, have been getting away with it for 10 years!  
Maybe it's because they are in such a large market... perhaps the biggest market. It's as simple as some operators saying, "this is a chance to make money."

We take an opposite approach. This is a chance for us to make customers.

Ever since we have been in business - 30 years, 6 months, and 28 days - we have taken the approach that New Year's Eve is a time to build customer relationships, not tear them down. I've often thought of it as an opportunity to give back and say "thank you" to our customers for another year of allowing us to serve you.

Every year since 1985, we have done about twice the business on New Year's Eve than a normal Saturday. We more than double our efforts. With 3 times the staff and 4 times the planning and preparations, we are trying to put our best foot forward. We have even gone all out decorating our place with thousands of helium-filled balloons.

We do all of this without increasing a single menu price. It might not be smart business sense to some. To us it is. We can't make our year on one night. Anyone can fill up on New Year's Eve. We need you the other 364 eves.

We do add several celebratory dishes that people are looking for on New Year's. Besides our regular menu of entrees, we add several lobster dishes, surf and turfs and of course champagnes.

In the interest of full disclosure this year, we are making one big change. After reading what a harmful and precious commodity helium has become, we have decided to cut back on balloons. We will still be doing some decorating with them but we will not be as wasteful with them as we have in the past. We also remove sandwiches from our menu in order to allow the kitchen to optimize their setup so we can serve you promptly and efficiently.

If you have reservations here, you probably already know we take a $10 per person credit card "hold." If you cancel by the 29th, or if you show up for your reservation, it never gets processed. It had gotten to the point where we had a 30% no show rate and we just could not keeping guessing what the no-show rate was going to be each year.

On a positive note, you make your reservation and that is it. You show up, and we have your table. Just like how it is supposed to be every night of the year.

While I am blowing my New Year's horn, I would like to thank you personally for allowing us to serve you for yet another year.  
We hope you can join us again in 2016.

HaPpY nEwYeAr!!!!!!!  

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