TGI Friday's Review

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Think Twice

This restaurant served one of the most expensive meals we ate, yet seemed to offer the least value. The food was rather bland and looked like something we could have made at home at far less expense. Many reviewers seem to agree on this point. One expert ranks the chain among the most unhealthful in America.

This restaurant doesn't seem to be much of a hit in TGI Friday's reviews on Yelp. Some customers report that the food is horribly bland, while others say half of their meal was burned or compare the taste to spoiled meat. Reviews aren't as bad on Urbanspoon, but that doesn't mean customers are impressed. They seem to agree that this restaurant chain is way overpriced for what you get.

Our researcher's experience dining at the restaurant wasn't as bad as TGI Friday's reviews might suggest, but it wasn't nearly good enough to land this chain among our picks. The bill for a family of four was the second-most expensive, at $40.04 (plus tax and tip) for a cheeseburger and fries, Jack Daniel's chicken with broccoli and mashed potatoes, an entree salad, a kids meal, a side salad, and a fountain drink. The burger and chicken entrees tasted to our researcher like something she could have made better at home. While the burger was burned on the edges, the rest of the food lacked much taste at all -- save for the well-seasoned mashed potatoes, which were the highlight of the meal.

Men's Health editor Dave Zinczenko, author of Eat This, Not That, declares TGI Friday's the second-worst restaurant chain in America, based on an annual survey that notes the restaurant's high calorie counts. He says the chain does redeem itself somewhat with Right Portion, Right Price options that have fewer than 750 calories. We discovered in our research that the chain unveiled a gluten-free menu at participating restaurants in 2010, but we couldn't find the menu anywhere online.

While the restaurant does offer a To Go service for customers who call in, the website includes no mention of it. One thing TGI Friday's has going for it: a rewards program called Give Me More Stripes. Members earn a point or "stripe" for every $1 they spend on food at the restaurant. Stripes are redeemable for free food or discounts, and perks for signing up include a coupon for a complimentary starter or dessert.

TGI Friday's doesn't measure up to our picks on a number of fronts, including healthful menu options and information for customers with food allergies. In general diners seem to feel it simply doesn't offer much value for the money.

Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Yahoo, blogs, and other websites. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the sale and clearance racks for deals and taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and young sons.

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