Latest opening: Fridays and Go

By Stefan Chomka contact

- Last updated on GMT

The debut site of American casual dining group Fridays' new QSR format Fridays and Go has opened in Dundee

Related tags: Fridays, Fridays and Go, R200, Multi-site, Casual dining, American cuisine

The debut site of American casual dining group Fridays' new QSR format has opened in Dundee.

What:​ A 2,600sq feet restaurant located just off Dundee’s High Street that has launched under the debut Fridays and Go brand, a new quick service offer from the American restaurant chain.

Who:​ Fridays owner Hostmore and chief executive Robert B Cook are behind the new brand extension as the company looks to grow its business beyond its core Fridays brand and newer 63rd​ + 1st​ New York inspired bar and restaurant concept.

Fridays-and-Go-to-debut-in-Dundee

The food:​ Classic Fridays dishes will be available for eat in or takeaway, served fast food style in branded paper boxes. Menu items include chicken wings, nachos, sesame chicken strips, and a selection of burgers, as well as new creations including a bucket of bones and a boneless chicken dog, and its classic milkshakes.

The vibe:​ Fridays has relied on its red, white and black colour palette for the new format that features sport, film and music American memorabilia on the walls, including electric guitars, tenpins, Marshall stacks and film posters. As with its other restaurants, a Harley Davidson also puts in an appearance. Unlike its traditional sit-down restaurants, the new Dundee venue has much more of a fast food feel in line with the likes of Five Guys as well as new entrants Wendy’s and Popeyes but with a more casual dining bent.

And another thing:​ If the Dundee trial is a success, Hostmore believes there is the potential to open around 30 Fridays and Go sites over the next three to four years.

Fridays and Go is a logical next step for a brand in pursuit of the highly sought after omni-channel approach, says Stefan Chomka

Depending on how you look at it, Fridays’ move into the QSR sector could either mark it out as a brand wrestling with its identity or one ensuring it stays relevant as the casual dining and quick service restaurant (QSR) categories continue to converge. From the dropping of the TGI initials from its branding in 2020 to the creation of 63rd ​+ 1 st  ​in early 2021, the almost 60 year-old brand has been slowly reinventing itself in an attempt to keep on trend, and Fridays and Go is the next step on this journey.

If 63rd ​+ 1 st  ​is a move to target a more grown up, affluent demographic by trying to replicate a members club and boutique hotel style feel, Fridays and Go looks to be aimed squarely at the younger end of the spectrum, a market successfully serviced by QSR brands such as Five Guys and McDonald’s. But more than this, it is evidence of Fridays’ more omni-channel approach, with the brand now spanning dine-in, delivery, at-home kits, retail products, and now also food to go. With this is mind, Fridays and Go seems a logical step in order for it to close the omni-channel loop.

The new brand also gives the company scope to broaden its reach outside of its retail park heartland and gain not just a high street presence but a foothold elsewhere. Fridays is believed to be working with a major motorway services operator to bring the format to the roadside, following in the footsteps of brands such as Leon. While it hasn’t spoken about it, such a move could even pave the way for a drive-thru model.

In Dundee, the company has opted for a good pilot site in a former Fatburger location. With its recognisable branding and American style dishes that set it apart from potential rivals such as Five Guys (nachos, wings, cheese and maple bacon fries) Fridays and Go has the potential to be a success for the company, especially if it avoids the highly saturated markets of large cities such as London and Manchester.

Related topics: Openings, Casual Dining

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