In one of the most ill-advised and desperate moves in chain-restaurant history, T.G.I.Friday's is now offering literally endless appetizers. You're not reading this wrong.
Starting yesterday, T.G.I.Friday's launched its "Endless Appetizers" summer promotion, whereby customers can spend $10 for a bottomless amount of a single appetizer. They're supposed to be per person — sharing is "discouraged," which sounds like a smart plan...until you get to the part where neither servers nor managers will be enforcing that in any way. Basically, they're asking people to please be nice and not gorge themselves by the group on appetizers and HAHAHAHAHAHAHA have they ever actually met an American before?
Obviously, this is a horrible idea from a server's perspective. As adamant as they are about not enforcing the one-for-each customer policy ("We're not going to slap someone's hand if they reach over and share someone else's mozzarella sticks," their marketing director repeatedly states), I promise you T.G.I.Friday's is going to get parties of two and upwards who come in and just eat craploads and craploads of potato skins. You're definitely going to see parties of eight coming in and ordering one endless plate of buffalo wings. Because of the unlimited refills, meanwhile, the server is going to essentially do all the work of a regular table for 1/2 - 1/8 the tip (because most people are douchebags and aren't going to tip a higher percentage than they would for a full meal). I can't even imagine how much this is going to suck in a college town — college students are already terrible, and this is only going to exacerbate the issue. This is every single T.G.I.Friday's server right now:
But really, T.G.I.Friday's should care more about the fact that this is a horrible business decision. I don't know about you guys, but I can eat a fuckton of mozzarella sticks. Would I and my colon prefer a full, actual meal to ten pounds of cheese encased in breading? Sure, of course. But if someone told me "hey, for $10, you and your girlfriend can eat literally all the mozzarella sticks," any other food gets put on the backburner, because it's time for us to saddle up and have us a Bar Mitzvahrella.* No matter how well I tip my server to make up for it, the company still loses out. If there's one thing binge-watching Restaurant Impossible online has drilled into me other than the fact that Robert Irvine is an enormous human, it's that not keeping up with your food costs is a recipe for unmitigated disaster.**
While the promotion only runs through August 24, that's still plenty of time for them to do irreparable harm to their business. So, by all means, guys, enjoy the endless appetizers, but you should probably go soon, because T.G.I.Friday's won't exist for much longer.
*I am so, so sorry.
**If there's a second thing I've learned, it's that my girlfriend wants to murder that Steve kid in the Daisy sour cream commercial played during EVERY Food Network.com commercial break. She's now declared a crusade against all Steves and I'm legitimately worried she might try to bludgeon that kid to death with a serving spoon if she ever sees him in person.
Image via AP.