3/09/2015

TGI Friday's - Review


On Friday Nick, Noah and I drove over to TGI Friday's at the Trafford Centre, Manchester. We had been sent a £50 voucher to review the menu in the run up to Mother's Day. I was so excited to go because I had never been to TGI's before and it was like an early Mother's Day treat, to myself!

On arrival we didn't have to wait two minutes before we were greeted in a friendly manner and shown to our table. The table they selected was very suitable for us with us having a toddler and a pram. My initial impression was very positive! 

Once seated we looked through the menu's and decided what we all wanted. We ordered quickly and without a hitch.  



Noah's Meal - Chicken Tenders
There was so many options for adults but looking on the kids menu I wasn't too impressed. Every meal came with a side of deep fried potato (chips, waffles) and my toddler doesn't really like them. It would of been nice to of had a healthier option such as mash potato, boiled potato or even baked potato.


We chose Chicken Tenders from the "Little League" menu as we knew Noah would have a go with the waffles and wouldn't touch chips. Here is where our problems started. Noah's meal arrived a good ten minutes before our meal despite ordering them all at the same time. So by the time ours arrived he had finished and wanted to leave! 

The meal it self was okay but not something I would feed my son on a regular basis. The idea of having a side of raw pepper and slice of apple is good in theory and maybe more for the older toddlers (little league is aimed at toddlers) but Noah had a chew on the apple whilst his very hot meal cooled down and he gagged and choked. I don't understand why a side of beans or a side of pea's couldn't be included with this dish as they are are easier for young ones to eat and are both healthy options too. The dish also didn't arrive with the ketchup which was mentioned on the menu which could have made the very dry meal easier to consume.  



My Meal - Blackened Chicken Fajita's and a side of fries
I ordered the chicken fajita's which came on the obligatory sizzling plate with 4 tortilla wraps, a side of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Having eaten at many places which serve fajita's I was really happy with the size of the portion and there was plenty of chicken too. I had ordered a side of fries just in case it was a small portion but it was so filling I didn't need them. This is a dish that I would certainly order again, it was delicious and excellent value for money. One thing I would mention is that it would be nice to have an option to have cheese instead of guacamole or salsa. 


Nick's Meal - Steak, Chicken and Shrimps
Nick was really looking forward to this meal but he did feel a little disappointed after reading what was stated on the menu and with what arrived in front of him. 
First of all for £19.99 we were expecting a bit more for our money, it looked like someone had already started eating it! We think that it was really overpriced for what it was. He said the food was okay but very standard.

Drinks -
We just ordered two lemonades and Noah had his own water already. We weren't told that these were refills and we had to inquire ourselves. We then really had to try to get the attention of one of the dozen waiters for them to come and refill them for us.  




Service -
I would like to make a note of the service we received at the branch at the Trafford Centre as it left a lot more to be desired. 
When we arrived we were greeted in such a friendly and professional manner but then it just went downhill from there. 

As I previously mentioned my toddler's meal arrived a good 10 minutes before ours did so it was a nightmare trying to eat ours because he had already finished. We ordered everything at the same time so I don't really understand why it came so early.

We had to ask 3 times for condiments which is ridiculous. My partner actually had to get up the 3rd time and approach one of the waiters we had asked. The waiter was very blunt and quite frankly rude to Nick. He then rushed off to get it with an attitude. We were only asking for tomato sauce because my son's meal didn't come with any (although it stated on the menu) and it was that dry that he needed to have something to make it easier for him to eat (he hardly has any teeth, he's 15 months old!) 

What we find strange was that we were never asked if our meals were okay when we were eating. This is a first for us in all the restaurants we have ever eaten in and we thought it was just standard practice. 

The most frustrating moment of our visit was that the only time a waiter acknowledged us once our food was served was when they wanted to hurry us a long. I was still eating when I was asked twice in the space of ten minutes if we had finished. I had my knife and fork in hand, my mouth full of food and if they had of paid any attention they wouldn't of needed to ask.

Upon leaving and paying for our meal one of the waiters asked where we got these vouchers from and I mentioned my blog and how I was there to review the food and the service. The fact that his face went pale when I mentioned this just shows that the service we received was not good and could of been a lot better. 

Our visit to TGI Friday's had good points, the chicken fajita's in particular but unfortunately the bad practice and service just let it down for us. I also feel their menu could be vastly improved when it comes to the younger children. I probably would go back another time to see if I did just catch them on a bad day but I certainly wouldn't be happy paying what we did (£47) for the food and the service we received.

- I was sent vouchers for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. 

21 comments:

  1. I went to a TGI Friday's when I was younger. I ordered burger and chips- one of the most standard foods for any restaurant- and it was awful! Over cooked, black, chewy & full of the stuff I asked them to take out. I haven't been back since. I would like to go again but after reading this review it's made me think twice.
    I think Noah's side of peppers and apple is odd and I would have asked for peas or beans instead like you mentioned.
    Fab, detailed review, thanks :) x

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    1. Thank you for commenting Keri. It's interesting to hear other reviews and feedback too. I still can't get my head around no peas or beans for toddler and children meals. It sounds like something so minor but it's usually the norm. x

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  2. Wow what a disappointment! Certainly not somewhere I'll bother taking my kids! In my experience it's a very over priced menu anyway

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    1. I wouldn't recommend taking them to that particular branch. There was a big family sitting beside me (about 7/8) and everyone received their meals bar 1 child. They asked numerous times where their food was and it took a good while for it to finally arrive.

      It was a fairly busy Friday evening BUT there were a dozen staff walking around aimlessly and ignoring all the customers in the process.

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  3. Our local TGI's is really raved about but I am so worried the kids won't enjoy the food. The one time I have been was with other adults and the food and service was great. It is a shame when certain restaurants give awful service like this and really show up a company! I would be more than disappointed paying £47 for a family meal out and being treated the way you were.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Carly. I haven't looked at the children's menu, just the one aimed at younger children. It could be better?

      I agree it's a shame when one branch lets down the brands name. I've only ever heard positive comments about TGI's on a whole. Since posting this review I've heard more negative points about the branch in Trafford centre.

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  4. It is such a shame that you had disappointing experience. I am originally from the USA and have been to several TGI Fridays in England and in the USA. It sounds like there was poor communication and some lack of customer service. The kids meal coming early is not surprising to me because it is an option that some restaurants offer. Your waiter should have asked you when you wanted the kids meal to arrive. Sometimes I want my daughter's meal to come out quickly to keep her distracted and if she is hungry. Most of the time she will eat slowly and will still be eating when my meal arrives. Offering condiments and refill of drinks should been offered automatically. If you wanted a different side for kids meal, I would have asked if something else was possible. I look at sides that come with adult meals and see what they may have in the kitchen already. If your waiter was friendly and helpful, you probably would have felt you could request other items. It sounds like the staff were focused on getting you feed and out the door. I think working in a restaurant is one of the hardest jobs but a few minutes of paying attention to your needs would have made all the difference. Good job being truthful about your experience.

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    1. Thank you for commenting Christina. I totally agree with all your points. I perhaps should of asked if there was something else my toddler could of had instead of hard uncooked veg and apple but at the same time I don't understand why beans or peas aren't on the menu that is specifically tailored to toddlers and young children. Most toddlers are going to struggle chewing hard veg without any molars.

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  5. Wow what an awful experience! We've usually had great service at our one in bluewater (they usually refill your drink when it's only half empty haha). I totally agree about the kids meal though - Id rather indiana has mash potato and there's no way shed eat the random veg lol xX

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    1. I would certainly go back to TGI's but possibly not to the one at Manchester. I think Noah would of eaten the 3 random strips of raw fruit and veg if he could but he has no molars! For that to be offered on a menu designed for toddlers, is a bit daft!

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  6. Oh dear, if I would of received any of those plates I would of complained! I didn't even read the review just saw the pictures!

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  7. What a shame! Can't believe that pic of Nick's plate - it's like half a meal! I'm not a huge fan of the food at the Belfast branch. We had the same problem with celebs meal coming early last time we went x

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  8. That's such a shame. The TGI we go to in Northampton is always brilliant. Nice food and great service. They usually ask if we want the kids meals to come out before ours or at the same time. They will do it earlier if you ask so kids don't get too hungry waiting. Xx

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  9. What a shame you got such poor service, I must admit whenever I've eaten at TGIs I've come across the same issues, great for a quick cocktail or drink after work but not somewhere I'd recommend for a meal or large group I'm afraid.

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  11. We love TGIs food but their service is most of the time so crap! We used to go to the one in Enfield before they opened one in Stratford. We stopped going to Enfiled when I was pregnant with Hayden - They forgot to put our order on the system and we were waiting there like idiots for the longest time ... I ended up in tears like an hormonal fool and we left. If I didn't love their food so much I would have never returned. So not suprised with your service - Great review hun x

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  12. That is such a shame. I haven't been to TGI's in ages and this doesn't make me want to rush back to one

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  13. Hmm what a shame - you do expect more from a big name like this. Noah's meal does look a bit dry, shame there isn't more choice! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

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  14. I went to TGI last week with my cousin and my starter wasn't the hit but the main made up for it we didn't have my kids with me so i didnt look at the kids menu but stating what you mentioned it sounds like it certainly needs improving we went to the TGI in Bromley (South London) and the service was excellent its a shame that your branch was the opposite it really spoils it doesn't it!

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