14 Pros and Cons of Working for TGI Fridays

Known for its flair and casual atmosphere, TGI Fridays has been serving cocktails and American cuisine since 1965.

Since first opening its doors, the restaurant chain has become infamous for its unique signature meals and cocktails and its vibrant atmosphere.

The company employs over 11,000 employees in its 900 locations across the globe.

If you’re considering joining the TGI Fridays team, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of working for the organization.

Reviews from current and past employees can provide invaluable insight into the workplace culture, which positions you should apply for, earning potential, and more.

Read on to find out why TGI Fridays consistently earns a spot on “Best of” lists, including “Best Companies to Work for in Texas” and “Best Big Company to Work For.”

Pros of Working at TGI Fridays

1. Earning Potential

Formed in 1965, this seasoned restaurant chain offers its employees an opportunity to earn a great income.

Depending upon their location, servers are paid a base hourly rate of between $2 and $12.

After tips, servers earn an additional $13-$20/hour.

Other positions in the restaurant also earn competitive pay, with hourly pay rates ranging from $9-18, depending upon the position and restaurant location. 

In addition to their hourly wages, TGI Friday’s employees have other opportunities to increase their annual pay.

For example, the enterprise offers good merit raises to those who are willing to put in the extra mile.

The restaurant giant also made the news in 2022, when it started paying its GMs a $2,500 stipend to go on vacation.

The goal was to help ensure a good work/life balance, show its employees that they are valued, and reduce turnover. 

2. Camaraderie Between Co-Workers

In most cases, working in a restaurant setting means keeping long and late hours.

You often feel like you’re spending more time with your co-workers than at home or with your family and friends. 

Can you imagine spending 45–60 hours every week with co-workers that you don’t get along with or make your workdays even more of a challenge?

Fortunately, the TGI Friday’s team is more like a family.

They have each other’s back, both on the clock and off.

In fact, you’ll probably find yourself hanging out with them after work and on your days off.

3. Inclusive and Diverse Workplace Culture

While earning a good income and camaraderie are important elements, modern employers understand that employees need more out of the workplace.

As seen with TGI Fridays’ move to pay its GMs to go on vacation, the organization works hard to retain its employees and keep them happy.

Creating a diverse and positive workplace culture is just one step TGI Fridays has taken to take care of its employees.

This diversity doesn’t just benefit its employees.

Studies indicate that diverse organizations generate an average of 19% higher revenue and 2.5 times more cash flow per employee.

In the restaurant industry, this equates to higher pay for everyone.   

4. Exhaustive Training Program

Anyone who’s worked in the service industry knows how challenging the work can be.

Regardless of your position, the job is fast-paced and requires memorizing what feels like a million things. 

Fortunately, the TGI Fridays management team understands the challenges that come with the work.

They do their best to ensure every employee is properly trained and doesn’t feel like they’ve been thrown to the wolves on their first day out of training. 

Training lasts from 5 days to 2 weeks, depending on the position and the individual’s experience.

They provide literature on the restaurant’s food menu, rules and regulations, and best practices.

Trainees also receive hands-on experience and must pass a comprehensive test before being released to work solo.  

5. Discount on Food and Drink

As a thank you for their hard work, TGI Fridays offers a discount to its employees.

This discount applies to food and drink and is applicable for groups of up to four people.

You’ll also receive free soda, coffee, and tea during your shift.

Team members and managers working a shift of 10 hours or longer receive a free meal, which can be used before, during, or after their shift.

6. Flexible Schedule 

TGI Fridays understands the importance of work-life balance.

Management also understands that their employees have lives and responsibilities outside of work.

The restaurant chain offers flexible scheduling, with the opportunity to work day and/or night shifts and as many (or few) shifts as your life permits.

This makes them the perfect employer for students, parents with children’s schedules to accommodate, and folks working this as a second job. 

7. Employee Benefits Package

With over 900 restaurants across the globe, TGI Fridays has learned what it takes to keep its workforce happy.

And since a happy workforce means increased productivity and profits, the organization works hard to invest in its employees as much as possible.

One of the most meaningful ways TGI Fridays invests in its workforce is through its benefits package.

While the specifics vary based on position and longevity with the company, TGI Fridays benefits include:

  • Health, dental, and vision group benefits
  • Health and well-being private medical care
  • Sick pay
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Holiday pay
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Stakeholder pension 
  • Employee helpline
  • Discounts on gym memberships

Both hourly and salaried professionals at TGI Fridays are eligible for these benefits.

Some benefits start on the first day, while others require at least 6 months with the company before kicking in. 

Cons of Working at TGI Fridays

1. Hard Work and Long Hours

While working in the service industry can be very rewarding, it often requires long hours on your feet.

The work is fast-paced, leaving little time to catch your breath or rest your feet. TGI Fridays is no exception. 

The great news is, a fast-paced restaurant typically means more sales.

This equates to more money in your pocket.   

2. High Turnover

Like most restaurants, many TGI Fridays locations experience a high turnover rate.

This leads to understaffed shifts and more work for everyone. 

Where there’s a negative, there’s usually a positive as well.

The silver lining is that an understaffed restaurant means more opportunities to pick up extra shifts and earn some extra money. 

Unfortunately, high turnover also leads to an overwhelmed management team.

When management is overwhelmed, this tends to trickle down to the rest of the staff, elevating everyone’s stress levels. 

3. Management Can Be Unsupportive

TGI Fridays employees at several locations have complained about high turnover in management.

This affects the morale of the entire restaurant.

It makes it difficult to develop a rapport and get to know each manager’s unique management style and expectations. 

Both current and past TGI Fridays employees have felt unsupported by their managers.

Upon lodging a complaint, management seemed interested in finding solutions, yet never followed through.

There also seems to be a disconnect between individual managers.

This lack of communication leads to a breakdown in protocol, leaving employees wondering what the correct answer is.   

4. Limited Growth Opportunities

While TGI Fridays promotes from within whenever possible, there’s a limited number of higher positions to fill.

Once you’ve climbed the ladder past a certain point, growth opportunities are scarce.

Fortunately, the experience gained from working for such a well-known, bustling restaurant will prove invaluable for future jobs.

5. Pay Is Low for Some Positions

Depending upon your restaurant experience, you may be required to start out at the bottom of the ladder.

Positions like busser and host/hostess pay at a much lower rate than other roles within the company. 

If you prefer working for a company for a long period of time, don’t let your starting role deter you from signing on with TGI Fridays.

Hard work pays off with this company.

If you show interest and work hard, you’ll find yourself in a server position in no time!

6. Work Can Be Mundane 

Despite the fast-paced nature of this business, some employees complain that the work is mundane and uninspiring.

Some positions are repetitive, with little variation in day-to-day activities.

These positions also often mean little interaction with the public or co-workers, which can be depressing for some people.

Before applying, carefully review the job description.

Consider the duties that would be expected of you.

Is this a good fit?  

7. Customer Interaction

Most positions in the service industry require constant interaction with customers.

Ultimately, how you interact with them also defines your take-home pay. 

While many folks enjoy working with customers, it can prove challenging at times.

It’s essential to keep this in mind if you’re seeking a front-of-house position.

If you don’t enjoy working with the public or find it hard to maintain a positive attitude, a career in the service industry may not be a good fit. 

14 Pros and Cons of Working for TGI Fridays – Summary Table

Pros of Working at TGI FridaysCons of Working at TGI Fridays
1. Earning Potential1. Hard Work and Long Hours
2. Camaraderie Between Co-Workers2. High Turnover
3. Inclusive and Diverse Workplace Culture3. Management Can Be Unsupportive
4. Exhaustive Training Program4. Limited Growth Opportunities
5. Discount on Food and Drink5. Pay Is Low for Some Positions
6. Flexible Schedule6. Work Can Be Mundane
7. Employee Benefits Package7. Customer Interaction

Should You Work at TGI Fridays?

If you’ve reviewed the pros and cons and still feel positive about working there, a career at TGI Fridays might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Despite reports of high turnover, the average TGI Fridays employee remains at the company for 3.4 years. 

The restaurant chain prides itself on creating an atmosphere that celebrates life, family, friends, and good times.

A majority of the company’s current and former employees recommend working for the organization and felt valued while working there. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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