Established in 1965 with franchises starting to open in 1971, TGI Fridays (originally T.G.I. Friday’s) is a chain of restaurants focusing on casual dining and complex drink options. There are over 900 locations in more than 60 countries employing over 30,000 people, 8,000 of them bartenders. Fridays is mostly known for its cheesy, antique-filled decor and subpar yet above par priced food. With a slew of new and remodeled locations the chain is hoping to change perceptions and set a new standard in casual dining. Without any official announcements or coordinated rollout — there is even a confusing new URL, newfridays.com — TGI Fridays has introduced a new logo that drops the apostrophe, and its new locations feature streamlined and more contemporary designs. No design credit is given on the identity nor the restaurants’ design but London-based Harrison has been responsible for many of the UK locations and has just opened a U.S. office to help bring some of the flair here.
Update Aug.26.2013:The new identity has been designed by Edinburgh-based TEVIOT.
I’ve never really liked Fridays’ logo, not even in its Tuscan iteration that lasted for so many years. The holding shape has always bothered me and the stripes within it have never really made sense. But over the years I’ve seen locations switch their facades to use striking and bold red and white diagonal motifs that make the chain a little more contemporary and yet undeniably recognizable so I like that the new logo has dropped the shape and gone with just a striped border. It’s a simpler execution that maintains the main elements and is easier to apply and adapt to different facades or other applications. The vertical “TGI” drives me a little nuts, but if it helps simplify the shape, why not?
The biggest changes, and where the restaurants will benefit the most, are from refreshed interiors that make the dining experience feel less like being in the worst episode of Antiques Roadshow and in a place where you don’t mind sitting down and enjoying pieces of meat smothered in Jack Daniel’s sauces along with oversized alcoholic drinks. Some of the interior details are remarkably nice — like those frames on the wall or the “In here, it’s always Friday” sign. It’s going to take a long time to bring up to speed over 900 locations but since it’s only Tuesday, they have some time.
Thanks to Alec B for the tip.