TGI Fridays and Sporting Globe introduce Edgell Vegetable Chips to the menu
SINCE ITS FIRST VENUE OPENED in Geelong, Victoria in early 2010, The Sporting Globe Bar & Grill has expanded across the state and now has franchise partners nationwide. Capitalising on the nation’s love of sport, The Sporting Globe was designed to be more than a sports bar – with table staff welcoming more than 1.5 million guests every year, beverages to cater for all tastes and a carefully chosen menu including a variety of house specialties.
It’s been a great success story for co-founder and CEO James Sinclair, who has now also purchased the Australian rights to iconic restaurant bar brand TGI Fridays. The world’s largest US restaurant chain, TGI Fridays currently has 14 locations in Australia including its new flagship bar in Chadstone shopping centre, renowned as Melbourne’s fashion capital.
Both brands are highly recognisable with their own distinctive identities, as James explains: “TGI Fridays is very family friendly and attracts lots of young women and working mums on the go, and as most locations are in shopping centres they’re ideal for family outings. Sporting Globe is more skewed towards males - it’s the ultimate place to catch up with mates over a game and a drink.”
Since purchasing TGI Fridays 18 months ago, James and his team have conducted a big overhaul of the menu. “Obviously there are some big international favourites which we want to retain, like glazed ribs with Jack Daniels sauce which we’re famous for. But we’ve reduced the menu down from 78 items and we’re in the process of premiumising it. We are still doing many of the American favourites but with a new twist – for example our buffalo wings are now slow cooked for four hours with oil infused with thyme and garlic.”
As part of the menu renovation, TGI Fridays will be featuring Edgell’s new Vegetable Chips made from carrot, beetroot and parsnip. “We’re launching them on the menu this month and we’re also looking to introduce them in the near future on the Sporting Globe menu,” James confirms.
“They present beautifully with a terrific rustic look and we think they’re a great premium option that will be perceived as a healthier choice. We’ve seen a huge trend in the market towards alternatives to potato chips – eggplant and avocado are out there, and to be able to offer a hot chip made with carrot, beetroot and parsnip is a great opportunity we’ve never had before.
“Customers are looking for healthier options – we’re all trying to be healthier but despite our best efforts, most of us don’t get enough fruit and veg, so I think getting those vegies onto the menu in the form of a chip will be a huge hit that will resonate with our customer base.
“We have an array of our own mayonnaises including an avocado mayo which is unique to the TGI Fridays menu and I’ve no doubt that people will enjoy the Vegetable Chips in combination with these. We’re also expecting to see a lot of customers swap from a regular potato chip to a vegetable chip as a side with their steak, burgers and ribs. They’ll also be particularly suitable good as bar snacks for people watching games and having a beer at The Sporting Globe. I think they’re hugely versatile – they’ll go with anything really.”
Naturally both TGI Fridays and The Sporting Globe are also retaining their traditional potato fries which are Edgell Supa Crunch. “When it comes to fries, we’ve always placed a high importance on using the most premium product and I believe the Supa Crunch is the best in the country. It’s made from 100 per cent Tasmanian potato, which is the best potato in the world, and the Supa Crunch batter is absolutely the best in the market. It holds its temperature really well, it cooks consistently and it has beautiful mouthfeel. We get rave reviews about that chip across both of our brands.”