Thursday, March 22, 2007

TGI FInished

I sent this letter to the company this afternoon. Sorry there aren't any photos.

Dear TGI Friday's,

My wife and I visited your establishment two nights ago. We live in San
Francisco and could have eaten at any number of places. But we had a
sitter for the little one, access to a car and we thought we'd get out of the city for the night. It was a toss up between Chili's and TGI Friday's. My craving for Jack Daniel's Chicken won out. Despite our instinct to pull in, we passed the Chili's and headed to TGIF's. Little did we know our dinning choice would prove to be a mistake.

We were greeted at the door and seated quickly enough. Our table seemed
fine and the silverware was wrapped in a napkin, not touching the table
surface, which I always appreciate when eating out. (The CheeseCake Factory does not provide this courtesy.)

As is tradition we started with drinks, the wife only requested water. I
was a bit more indulgent and ordered a Slushy. Although it was slight,
this was my first disappointment. I think this drink could be more
accurately labeled a "Crushy". Because that's all it was, crushed ice.
I would recommend visiting a Dairy Queen, ordering a slushy and
comparing it with your version. I think you will find their slushed ice fits through the straw easier than your crushed ice. -The drink was fine flavor wise. Just not slushy.

Once our meals arrived I was very excited. I did order what drew me to your
establishment in the first place, the JACK DANIEL'S® SAMPLER. It was
hot, crispy and dripping with sauce. However, the salad presented to my
dear sweet wife looked like something you'd expect to be served,
covered in plastic wrap because it was made the night before, in the
hospital. On the menu the, ASIAN-GLAZED CHICKEN ON FIELD GREENS, sounded and looked so good... It wasn't. The chicken had not been glazed with anything. It just sat there naked on a field of slightly green Iceberg lettuce and what we could only determine to be Italian dressing. She was utterly disappointed and embarrassed because she knew it had to be sent back. I think for most people it is uncomfortable to reject the food that has been prepared for them. But in this case there
was no other choice. It was just that pathetic of a salad. Our waiter
stopped by to check on us. We told him the situation. He handled it
well enough, even though it was awkward for all involved, and allowed
my wife to order the PARMESAN-CRUSTED SICILIAN QUESADILLAS. They were much better.

As a consumer I would speculate, when a company, such as your self, puts
an item on the menu they believe it represents their name well and that
it will be enjoyed by those who order it. The above mentioned salad
does not meet this simple criteria.

Once the replacement meal was provided and we began to settle into the evening we became more aware of our surroundings. We were seated in view of the television at the bar. Normally establishments such as yours show sporting events. I have
no problem with that. But on this night you were showing some kind of
brutally violent fighting match. It wasn't boxing or hockey. This
violence was more pure and straight forward. It was a no-holds-barred,
pound that face into pulp, type match. And I have to say that I was
offended by the images on display while I was trying to have a pleasant
night out. I was also offended by the woman sitting at the bar
complaining loudly about here two ungrateful, worthless kids and how
she was going to get her tubes tied. Sounds like she is a couple years
too late and can't get the operation soon enough. The guy she left with
was clearly not interested in her problems or her kids. And from the
look of things, the only thing he was interested in having her get off
her chest was her sweater. However depressing the scene might have been
I don't hold you responsible for your clientele. You can't help who
chooses to show up for dinner. Interestingly, balancing out the scene,
sitting one table away from us, was a family out for their son's
birthday dinner. They had the little balloons tied to their chairs and
it all looked fun and festive. And while the family sat chatting, the
eleven year old birthday boy watched a grown man, on the television
above the bar, mercilessly hammer, with his naked fist, the face and
groin of his opponent.

And then I realized something. We don't belong at TGI Friday's. we are not your target market. And even though we left with our belly's full our hearts were empty.
As we pulled out of the parking lot and I looked at your sign and thought, TGI Finished.

Mark Elliot.