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TGI Friday's 'Endless Appetizers' Promotion Is Endlessly Brilliant

LOS ANGELES, July 16, 2014 () – TGI Friday’s recent announcement that it would offer “endless appetizers” through Aug. 24 may at first glance seem like just another restaurant promotion. But keep an eye on this one, because it could very well set a trend for deals on appetizers moving forward.

For the next five-and-a-half weeks, Friday’s is offering unlimited refills of one of seven different appetizers for $10. It’s a brilliant promotion. Here’s why:

• Higher alcohol sales. Appetizers are consumed throughout a restaurant’s lunch and dinner hours, but they’re most often purchased during a restaurant’s “Happy Hour” when people first get off work and look to meet their friends for a drink and a quick bite to unwind. Happy Hour is where you also see a lot of alcohol sales. And if customers are more inclined to stay longer with unlimited appetizers, they’re also more inclined to purchase more specialty drinks.

• More appetizer sales. OK, at first that sounds obvious. Of course Friday’s will sell more appetizers because of this promotion! But many customers won’t settle for just one type of appetizer, especially if they’re with a group of people. They’ll order multiple appetizers to satisfy their group’s various tastes. And why not? The promotion’s price and “endless” option will encourage them to do so. Customers will be more inclined to get more than one appetizer because the price isn’t a turn-off and because of the potential quantity.

• Perfect pricing.
Speaking of pricing, $10 for unlimited potato skins or mozzarella sticks is just right. Most customers will consider it a fair price, and even if some customers decide to have endless buffalo wings as their main meal, Friday’s serves several entrees around the $10 mark. So while technically, this promotion could cause customers to not get an entrée, the price point is high enough that the purchase of the appetizer is really like purchasing an entrée anyway.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.

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