The casual dining chain says it’s the fastest test-to-table launch in TGI Fridays history.

Mike Pomranz
January 02, 2018

Eventually, alternative burger patties—whether of the high-quality plant protein-based variety or part of the rapidly improving lab-grown meat revolution—will hit their tipping point. It feels inevitable as we continue to come to terms with the environmental impact of our current methods of beef production. Even McDonald’s recently added a vegan burger in parts of Europe. But in the aforementioned plant-based department, two patties in particular have been pushing towards the mainstream. The much-hyped “bleeding” Impossible Burger has been rolling out at small burger chains like Umami Burger and Bareburger. Meanwhile, its bleeding competitor, the Beyond Burger, has significantly ramped up production in the past year. And now, Beyond Meat has made one of its most high-profile scores yet: Its Beyond Burger is being added to TGI Fridays menus at all 450-plus locations across the United States.

According to TGI Fridays, the addition of this “revolutionary” burger patty is the fastest test-to-table launch the restaurant’s history. After getting a test run at “a handful of locations” in October, the chain decided the start of the new year would be the perfect time to roll the burger out nationwide as part of a larger health-conscious push. “Appealing to a more food-forward consumer is a key priority for Fridays in 2018,” David Spirito, TGI Fridays’ Executive Culinary Director, said in a statement. “In answering guests demand for nutritional menu items that fit their lifestyle needs, we saw an opportunity to introduce newly expanded options like plant-based protein. Beyond Meat is leading the way in creating a juicy and delicious product that gives guests the sensory experience of a traditional burger without sacrificing taste.”

On menus, the Beyond Burger will be featured as “The Beyond Meat Burger,” prepared as “a 6-oz. patty seasoned, grilled and topped with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and Fridays sauce.” However, the patty can also be substituted for any existing offerings on the TGI Fridays Burger Bar Menu or “served on the Challah Bun or ‘Green Style’ on crispy green lettuce leaves without cheese or Fridays sauce for a vegan-friendly option.”

Beyond Meat CEO and founder Ethan Brown stated, “I could not be more pleased that an iconic global restaurant brand, TGI Fridays, is adding The Beyond Burger to their menu.” If this isn’t the tipping point, we’re certainly getting closer.