TGI Fridays' Online Ordering Experiment Is Working
In the past year, online ordering increased takeout sales by 30 percent, according to the casual dining chain.
Are you more likely eat food from a sit-down restaurant if you can just order takeout online? Recent data from TGI Fridays would suggest the answer is yes. After launching online ordering last year, the classic casual dining chain says it's seen a number of significant upticks in different sales numbers—and the brand plans to continue pushing this digital growth.
"Online ordering is a proven sales driver for Fridays, so we are going all in on making it easier than ever for our guests to recreate the Fridays experience at home," Caroline Masullo, TGI Fridays vice president of digital and e-commerce, was quoted as saying by Nation's Restaurant News. According to the chain, takeout sales are up 30 percent since the addition of online ordering. Meanwhile, over 70 percent of those online orders in the past year have come from new customers. Plus, as you might assume, people who order online appear more dedicated to the brand: Among customers who don't pay cash, those who order online go to Fridays 51 percent more frequently than those who only dine in. Oh, and one more kicker: Fridays says the average order online is 7.2 percent higher than those in-restaurant.
With more orders from new, dedicated customers who are willing to spend more money, it's easy to see why TGI Fridays is as excited about online ordering as it is about it almost being the weekend. "We are investing heavily in digital technology because, as an iconic brand, Fridays must evolve along with the lifestyle of our guests," Masullo said. "Everyone today, regardless of age, is looking for convenience and efficiency."
That next big step towards convenience and efficiency sounds like it could come in the form of delivery: The brand also said it's testing delivery through its smartphone app in some locations. Okay, sure, as long as they'll deliver you a TGI Friday's Mudslide before it melts.