TGIFriday's Introduces Smaller Portions At A Discounted Price

Chain restaurants have been making McDonald’s look like a diet option lately, so we’re glad to see that at least one is offering a menu of smaller portions at smaller prices. We can never finish restaurant portions, ever. From the Center For Science in The Public Interest:

“In a world where appetizers, entr

es, and desserts at a chain restaurant can top 2,000 calories apiece, I’m pleased that T.G.I. Friday’s is listening to their customers and recognizing that it can play a role in improving the public’s health,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Since Americans now get about one-third of their calories from restaurants, the increased availability of healthier, portion-controlled options is a real benefit to calorie-conscious diners.”

TGIF claims that consumers are demanding smaller portions:

“This is a category issue stemming from consumer demand. The category needs to listen,” said Richard Snead, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants. “We are listening.”

TGIFriday’s still doesn’t provide nutritional info in restaurants or on its website. The smaller portions aren’t exactly “healthy”, either, but that may be a blessing. If we’re going to eat something bad for us, we should eat less of it. —MEGHANN MARCO

T.G.I. Friday’s “Right Portion, Right Price” is Right Direction, Says CSPI (Press Release) [CPSI]
T.G.I. Friday’s

Restaurants Take Leadership Role with Portion Control(Press Release) [PRNewsire]
(Photo: Eric Martinnen)


Edit Your Comment

  1. billybastion says:

    great post, but this is a comment about the picture:

    how horrifying if one of those ladies is your mom, and she is now on here. what would possess a person to take a picture like that.

    i bet theyre “brand aspirationals.”

  2. mfergel says:


    My guess is those are members of the Sweet Adelines, which is the female equivalent to the Barbershop Quartet. I used to work at a studio and would record the regional competition every year. None of the women were that hot though (well, maybe one or two). Usually they were women in their 60’s. It was like a full weekend of standing near the old lady in church that loves to sing. It was funny though because they always had matching outfits, etc.

  3. B says:

    Less crappy food at a lower price? bargain.

  4. kerry says:

    Now if a restaurant where I would actually eat did this I’d be a very happy camper. As it is my boyfriend and I usually split an appetizer and an entree at most restaurants, and we still don’t clean our plates 75% of the time. When we get two entrees and no appetizer we bring home leftovers. If I could go somewhere and get a real single serving of pasta I’d just about plotz.

  5. matt1978 says:

    I would imagine the reason you can’t find real single servings is because you’re not eating at real italian restaurants. As delicious as Spaghetti Warehouse & Olive Garden are, they don’t count.

  6. alicetheowl says:

    The whole bonus to eating out these days, for me, is that I get a nice lunch the following day, as well, when I eat the leftovers. And there’s usually at least half of the main meal remaining when I’m done. I don’t understand why a person would fight to clean his plate at a restaurant when he’s already full.

    That said, for people looking for portion control and to eat out more cheaply, this is a good idea.

  7. Mayor McRib says:

    If I want “healthy” alternatives I can eat at home. TGIF bring on the smothered double deep fried fries with a side of gravy and a diet coke, hold the grandmas.

  8. kerry says:

    @matt1978: I don’t eat at chain restaurants more than once every few years, I go to “real” restaurants 3-4 times a week. I gave up on Italian restaurants many years ago because the portions were huge and the quality is never worth the price. I’m talking about portions at $25/entree fancy-pants bistros that are much larger than they should be. If I wouldn’t eat at a TGI Fridays, why on earth would I eat at an Olive Garden?

  9. matt1978 says:

    You’re paying $25 an entree and complaining because you get too much food? That’s one of the craziest things I heard all week.

  10. matt1978 says:

    Or better yet, you’re spending upwards of $400 a week on real restaurants and complaining about big portions.

  11. wonderskunk says:

    @matt1978: Nothing crazy about wanting to pay less and get reasonably sized portions

  12. Rajio says:

    Wow one third?!

    Learn to cook Americans!

  13. Scott Houchin says:

    My family went to TGIF a few weeks ago to discover their “all-inclusive” menus,” which included an appetizer, reduced size entre and dessert, all for around $14. Expecting to pay just that much for just the entree, this was a nice surprise and made our time out much more enjoyable. We had never really considered Fridays someplace to be a regular at, but this change made it a much more desirable restaurant.

  14. RandomHookup says:

    That photo reminds me of when my parents took up square dancing.

  15. kerry says:

    @matt1978: Sort of, we’re spending about $50-$75 on nicer restaurants ~3 times a week (one entree, one appetizer, a couple beers or glasses of wine), so it’s not like we’re each getting that $25 entree every time, plus an appetizer, plus drinnks. (Remember, too much food.) I’ve been to places that cost many more times that and don’t serve enormous portions, they serve much higher quality food. I would rather pay for quality than quantity, and I think it’s the insane modern notion of getting the most food for your dollar that has led to a world of enormous pasta dishes and the annoying practice of enlarging women’s clothing sizes so we can keep wearing a “size 6” even though we might weigh 25 pounds more than we did 10 years ago. [/rant]

  16. faust1200 says:

    I’ve always wanted to start a place called GDIM (God Dammit It’s Monday) Dim lights and a submissive staff speaking softly. Free black coffee and donuts and free ephedrine tablets in the candy dish as you leave.

  17. etinterrapax says:

    This will thrill my grandmother. Friday’s is her favorite restaurant, so when my cousin and I take her out for Sunday lunch, that’s where we go. But she always thinks the portions are too big and wants to share. It’s true; half of them are bigger than she is.

    I’ve got to throw them some respect for dropping the price too, and while their food isn’t the healthiest, at least leading (pointing?) the way toward sanity. I don’t have nearly the taboo against eating something bad for me that I do against wasting food, and while I do take home and make a lunch of leftovers, I would really prefer to be served a meal I can eat at its best without having a heart attack right there at the table. And maybe it’ll reduce waste in restaurant kitchens, too.

  18. Citron says:

    @Mayor McRib: I feel the same way. I am a tiny, thin, girl with a massive gullet and I like to exercise it once every now and then. Probably once every six weeks or so . . . so I usually go for broke. Weightlifting and eating sensibly for the rest of the months usually takes care of all the extra nasty calories fast. But I understand that if you eat out regularly, this is probably pretty sweet.

  19. Citron says:

    Oh, jeez. I’ve eaten at TGIF once in my life. I just realized that. I think I finished the whole plate (NOOOOES!) When I lived out in the burbies in Indiana, chain restaurants were pretty much all there was, I’m sure that’s the same other places in the country, as well.

  20. That picture looks like Sparkle Motion all grown up.

  21. formergr says:

    @faust1200: Hee, awesome, I’d totally go to your restaurant.

  22. Meg Marco says:

    @faust1200: Can I work there? And by work there, I mean, will there be WiFi and an outlet?

  23. kerry says:

    @faust1200: Throw in a vitamin pack and some aspirin and I’m there.

  24. matt1978 says:

    My line of thinking is, if you’re paying upwards of $25 per plate, why don’t you tell the waiter exactly what you want, like half the regular serving?

    also – wonderskunk: good job on not really reading the posts. nobody mentioned paying less.

  25. wonderskunk says:

    @matt1978: Good job on not really reading the actual story- which is about TGIFriday offering smaller portions at smaller prices. When Kerry wrote ” Now if a restaurant where I would actually eat did this …”, I assumed she meant smaller portions at smaller prices.