Should grocerants follow the lead of casual dining and bar operator TGI Fridays by offering endless appetizers for $10 per choice, and allow diners to reorder for free and share at their table?
Most grocerants do have either full-service or beer and wine bars – so they could potentially benefit from the strategy TGIF CEO John Antioco voiced to Business Insider. His goal is to sell more bar-centric foods such as appetizers, and to have them plus bar drinks comprise 50% of revenue, up from its current 35%. Beer, wine and liquor sales alone account for 20% of revenues at the 900-unit global chain.
Mr. Antioco aims to make TGIF more bar-centric – and ditch the flat casual dining theme. Yet grocerants need to decide which of their grocerant settings are appropriate for this image, and when to offer this during the week to conform to local trading area norms.
For grocerants willing to try this, FRG urges they grow more inventive in food and beverage pairings and suggestive in pitches by servers.
When diners stay longer to buy additional appetizer choices with drinks, incremental revenues may accrue. Grocerants might feel emboldened by what TGIF told USA Today when it first tested the endless appetizer promotion in Cincinnati in 2014 – that “traffic and food and drink sales jumped nearly double-digits,” and large groups rarely came in to share unduly and game the offer.