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TGIFridays_CarolineMasullo.jpg Ron Ruggless
Caroline Masullo touts TGI Fridays' "seamless mobile ordering process."

TGI Fridays reaps benefits of online ordering

Success leads operator to expand digital technology

In the year since TGI Fridays introduced online ordering, the casual-dining chain has seen take-out sales grow 30 percent, the company said this week.

The growth has led the Dallas-based operator to invest in layers of new digital technology.

“Online ordering is a proven sales driver for Fridays, so we are going all in on making it easier than ever for our guests to recreate the Fridays experience at home,” said Caroline Masullo, TGI Fridays vice president of digital and e-commerce.

“We are investing heavily in digital technology because, as an iconic brand, Fridays must evolve along with the lifestyle of our guests,” she added.  

Last September, TGI Fridays deployed a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that answers customer questions, such as finding the nearest restaurant. It also offers reservation capabilities at some restaurants. The chatbot, created with Conversable, has been expanded to Twitter.

TGI Fridays is also testing delivery through its smartphone app in some locations.

“Everyone today, regardless of age, is looking for convenience and efficiency,” Masullo said. “And our guests in particular want that convenience and efficiency paired with the fun, social, carefree experience they get every time they walk into a Fridays restaurant.”

The operator shared recent statistics gleaned from its digital initiatives:

The average online order ticket is 7.2 percent higher than an in-restaurant ticket.

Guests younger than 40 years old account for more than 60 percent of all delivery orders.

Guests who order online visit 51 percent more frequently than those who only visit in the restaurant, among non-cash, credit and debit card users.

More than 70 percent of online orders in the last year have come from new TGI Fridays customers.

Forty-eight percent of new Rewards program members in 2017 are Millennials between the ages of 21 and 32.

“Our team is putting a lot of focus on recreating that in-restaurant experience online, starting with a seamless mobile ordering process so that our customers can easily bring home distinct, delicious food that they can’t get anywhere else,” Masullo said.

TGI Fridays has more than 900 restaurants in 60 countries.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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