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Feb 29, 2008 05:44 AM

Fieri pushing TGI Fridays

I guess its inevitable, Tyler pushing Applebees, Bayless pushing Burger King for a while, now you don't even have to have chops to be the hired gun. Guy Fieri is in the latest TGI Friday ads. I don't go there much but if they put "Money!" on the menus, I will definitely not go back.

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  1. I caught a quick glimpse of it last night and if it is what I think it is, it's downright brilliant. It's a cross-promotion for Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Friday's site features the recipe and the person who submitted it. I guess you go in and vote for your favorite. There's even a drink pairing!

    2 Replies
    1. re: southernitalian

      I have a friend who's been working there for several years, going through all the changes they have over the past 8-9 years. Used to have all his buttons and the suspenders uniform, and they featured all those candy-bar-frozen drinks on the menu - those were the things that made the place famous back in the 80's!

      Now the menu has those faux-"tinis" and they all wear logo polos. How boring! I want chicken fingers and daiquiris when I go to Friday's, not friggin' cosmos.

      Guy Fieri looks right out of 1999. Backstreet-Boy-blonde-tips and those shades. I guess since they are being "trendy" now serving cosmos, like those girls drink on that BRAND NEW show Sex and the City, he fits into the TGI Friday's time warp.

      1. re: deibu

        "Used to have all his buttons and the suspenders uniform".....LOL! I believe those are called "flair".

    2. Rick Bayless is pushing Burger King? I never liked him - that facial hair configuration of his creeps me out - and now I can add "pathetic fast food shill" the list.

      Why Burger King? I think I'd have more respect for him if he partnered with Taco Bell. Seems more appropriate.

      13 Replies
      1. re: punkin712

        Bayless pitched for BK when they introduced a line of low-fat chicken baugette sandwiches back in 2003. The first one was a southwestern version, which is why they though Bayless would be a good fit. His reasoning was that he felt the sandwich he pitched was a much healthier alternative to other items on the menu and he might help people make better dietary choices. I heard that he gave all the money BK paid him for the commercial to charity.

        1. re: punkin712

          Punkin, thanks so much for assuring me I'm not the only one who is freaked out by Rick Bayless' facial hair!! Don't know why it bothers me so much, but I don't like it. He was actually one of my favorite celebrity chefs- he shows so much passion on One Plate...I just wish he hadn't sold out- first with the Frontera bottled sauces and then with BK. So sad.

          1. re: Cinnamom

            I love the Frontera Chipoltle, It's a damn fine sauce.

            1. re: rozz01

              Its a very disappointing sauce... no flavor depth at all.

            2. re: Cinnamom

              Selling sauces that he developed for his restaurants is selling out? He (with some others) started the company that bottled and sold the sauces.

              The BK thing was questionable, I'll agree though his intent actually seemed defensible to me.

              1. re: ccbweb

                I'm not sure if his intent was to donate it to charity. I read somewhere that he got a lot of flack for doing the BK spot that he ended up donating it to charity. That being said, I still like him.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Actually, I was thinking more that what he signed on to help advertise was a set of lower fat chicken sandwiches on baguette rather than burgers and fries. I remember it being pretty clear at the time that he saw it as a chance to try to change what was being served at fast-food restaurants like BK.

                  1. re: ccbweb

                    I see. Yeah, I guess that doesn't seem as horrific as peddling their burgers and fries. I wasn't too happy with his affiliation with BK, but that doesn't change the way I feel about his TV show.

                    I'm still waiting for the day I'll see Bourdain promoting McDonalds. You never know ...

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Bourdain said he would shill anything for Prada.

                      1. re: Phaedrus

                        not surprised-he will say anything if he thinks it makes him look cool

                        prada bags are ugly as sin

                2. re: ccbweb

                  Didn't mean to sound so negative- perhaps selling out was too strong a term. I still love his show. But I do worry he's spreading himself thin. Because I like him, I don't want him to go the way of Emeril- I'm not sure, but did his branding start with selling some spices? Anyway, to stay on topic Guy Fieri started out as a brand, so I am not surprised at all to hear of his partnering with Fridays. Seems a perfect match...

                1. re: southernitalian

                  yep. the last time he was on Martha, it was shaggy and wispy all at the same time. eeks!

              2. Phaedrus, A few year's back TGI Fridays was in a slump and cut server wages while their upper management kept the same salaries. That was YEAR'S ago and I haven't been back and never will. Hopefully the land barons of Olive Garden will have their way with them and leave the Friday's execs as well used concubines face down, covered in ranch dressing, in the land of mediocre food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Leper

                  For five years I worked in a building with a Friday's right next door. It was the only sit-down restaurant nearby. I never set foot in it, and I don't remember any of my co-workers eating there, either. This was in an office park with a lot of empty space for rent, and their parking lot was usually empty; I wonder just who did eat there.

                2. TGI Friday's might be an upgrade from Guy's restaurant, Tex Wasabi's: Southern BBQ and California Style Sushi.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000

                    As I understand it, Tex Wasabi's was the second restaurant FIeri and his partner created/developed/opened. Johnny Garlic's was the first. I haven't eaten in either, so I can't speak to the quality of the food but Johnny Garlic's is something like 12 years old.
                    Have you eaten in any of his restaurants?

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      I haven't been to either restaurant and I don't have a desire to check them out. I'm sure Johnny Garlic's is okay but Tex Wasabi...nada, never.

                      Otherwise, how can anyone blame anyone for trying to get ahead and making a little promotional money. Isn't that why people chase success? I'm just not interested in checking out his restaurants.

                      1. re: ML8000

                        I used to go to Johnny Garlic's in Windsor all the time when I lived there. Guy was great -- did field trips for the local schools, and fundraisers for cheerleading teams going to nationals, etc. Let the kids wait tables and keep the tips, etc, and a portion of the profits from the night as well. My all-time fave is the Cajun Chicken Fettucine Alfredo, and I love the Garlic Fries! I haven't been there in a few years, as I moved a few hours north of there, but it was a fun family restaurant -- crayons for the kids (big kids too!) to write on the paper table covers. And just an FYI -- he didn't serve TGIF-style pre-cooked airplane style food like Applebees, etc. It was all fresh, and there were also "Hunter's specials" that varied from wild game to alligator or ostrich, depending on the month. The food was just as good at their Fair booth also. Guess you have to be from NorCal to understand it... sorry for those of you who aren't -- it's beeeeautiful here!

                  2. That Glaring Idiot Fieri is a perfect match for a true slophouse like TGIF. Sizzling Skillets of deep fried garbage piled high with melted cheese and jalapenos. What has America become ? FN has become more concerned about gimmicks and cheesy catchphrases than cooking and instructional information.


                    9 Replies
                    1. re: TonyO

                      Wow, Tony, issues much?

                      I really don't have much opinion about TGIF one way or the other, but I do have to agree with southern italian - it's a pretty masterful way to promote the Ultimate Recipe Showdown series, which I caught an ep of the other night and actually found pretty interesting.

                      1. re: Suzy Q

                        No issues, just not much of a fan of restaurants that pass off mass produced, overprocessed crap as "award winning" recipes that are hawked by some made up hack. You gotta problem wit that ? As far as being "masterful", I can think of a few other words that come to mind.............

                        1. re: TonyO

                          Fridays, Applebees, Bennigans, Ruby Tuesdays, Chili's, they are all the same. Only stop there when I am with other people and they won't go anywhere else. *sigh*

                          1. re: TonyO

                            You said:

                            "You gotta problem wit that ?"

                            Give me a break. You've made your position pretty clear - no need to rip off the Sopranos.

                            I don't personally have a problem with the existence of chain restaurants, including TGIF, as many people seem to. I may or may not choose to eat there, but I don't deny them - or Fieri - their right to make a buck.

                            1. re: Suzy Q

                              Yeah I "ripped off the Sopranos" because God knows they coined so many catchprases that never existed prior to that show. Maybe James Gandolfini can get a show on FN and come up with some new recipes for TGIF like The Bada Bing Burger, Swimmin' with The Fish and Chips, or something with a Southwest twist like The Fogitaboutit Fajitas. As Rachel Ray would say, "Delish" !

                              1. re: TonyO

                                That would actually show remarkable consistency, because those recipes are about as authentically Italian as the Sopranos was as a TV show.

                          2. re: Suzy Q

                            I just finished watching most of an episode about comfort foods (mac and cheese, sandwiches, and something I missed because I had to have mac and cheese). That Marc Summers is tiresome. Guy is what he is. He's not as annoying on this show (yet) as his other. The recipes were pretty interesting. As someone who has been in the advertising industry for 20+ years, I think this is a "money" cross-promotion and win/win for FN & TGIF. Wouldn't bring me into a TGIF but nothing would. But I bet it's a pretty successful campaign that you'll see someone copy in some lame way soon.

                          3. re: TonyO

                            I totally agree!! Fieri is a giant bag of douche and the Food Network has gone way down hill. They would choose Guy Fieri and Giada DiLaurentis over Tony Bourdain and Mario batali.