T.G.I Friday’s unveils new 'Fast Track' concept for transport hub expansion

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Manchester

T.G.I Friday's wants to reach 120 UK locations by 2020
T.G.I Friday's wants to reach 120 UK locations by 2020
‘A new era is dawning’ for T.G.I Friday’s as the American restaurant chain today announced it will be opening its first outlet at a key transport hub under a newly created quick-service format.

The new concept – ‘Friday’s Fast Track’ – will open in Manchester’s Piccadilly Station in June, serving specially designed fresh dishes that can be delivered to guests within 10 minutes of their order.

The move into fast-paced, high-footfall transport hubs is part of chief executive Karen Forrester’s vision to double the number of Friday’s in the UK to 120 by 2020,​ with around eight openings per year planned. 

“This is the dawn of a very exciting new phase for Friday’s,” said Forrester. “We have been looking for the right location to launch our new concept for some time and Manchester Piccadilly is the perfect place for us with its high footfall and dwell times. 

“Whether guests are looking for a quick coffee or a succulent sandwich, we’ll have lots of options for anyone passing through the station.”

All aboard

Insight from the ‘Ones to Watch’ report​ from foodservice consultancy Horizons reveals that ‘gourmet food on the go’ is a key growth area in the UK eating out market; with new concepts emerging in places such as transport hubs as consumers increasingly want to eat when they want, where they want. 

Manchester Piccadilly is an ideal location for Friday’s to capitalise on this, with a footfall of 24 million passengers per year, an average user age below 40 and an average passenger dwell time of nearly half an hour.

Located within the Upper Concourse of the station, Friday’s Fast Track Manchester Piccadilly has been tailored to the needs of the busy traveller, with power points, Wi-Fi, and individual seating available throughout the restaurant.

The food has been designed by Friday’s development chef Terry McDowell to ensure that all main meals can be delivered to guests within 10 minutes of order through a number of innovations. An open-plan kitchen will offer guests walking past the restaurant a glimpse of Friday’s food as it is cooked.

New menu

The announcement comes as Friday’s launches a number of new menu items across its estate. A new burger range features seven burger experiences developed by McDowell, including the French Dip burger – a ‘wet burger’ set to start a new UK burger trend; and the Bruce Lee burger - topped with crispy noodles, Asian slaw, jalapenos, red chilli, Srirachi hot sauce and toasted sesame seeds..

The new handcrafted burger range will be available at the new Friday’s Fast Track, along with classic American-inspired breakfasts ‘with a Friday’s twist’ – including waffles, maple bacon and Jack Daniel’s-candied sausages.

The restaurant will create 40 jobs locally and will be able to serve 135 diners at any one time. It will include a rustic colour scheme and memorabilia inspired by travel, with a particular nod to the most famous train station in the world – Grand Central Station.

Friday’s Fast Trackwill open in Manchester’s Piccadilly Station in June.

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