TGI Fridays’ quest to reinvent happy hour (and itself) with chatbots and IoT

To return to relevancy in an increasingly digital world, the casual dining chain is developing chatbots and experimenting with bar-top tablets, personalized TV services and other IoT technologies to lure more millennials to its restaurants.

Become An Insider

Sign up now and get FREE access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more.

You've been on the road all day when a reprieve comes from your smartphone in the form of a ping from the local TGI Fridays, inviting you to pop in for half-price happy hour cocktails. Wearily, you coax your car there and go straight to the bar, hop on a stool and punch in your cocktail order on the tablet interface flashing on the bar top. An electronic coaster with your name appears, assuring you that your drink won't be confused with someone else's as the corporate crowd steadily swells.

You use your smartphone to take a picture of a TV, which funnels the sound from the baseball game playing on it through your smartphone, granting you your own personal viewing experience. You kick back and wait for your beverage. Life is good and about to get better.

None of the 900-plus TGI Fridays worldwide offer these services yet but they may in the near future if Sherif Mityas has his way. The TGI Fridays CIO and vice president for strategy and brand initiatives is testing those technologies and more in a mock restaurant that serves as a launching pad for digital tools that could redefine casual dining in a world where more millennials cook at home or order from quick-service chains. Fridays must find a way to instill more loyalty among smartphone-toting consumers.

[ Get an inside look at 10 real-world digital transformations at today's leading organizations, find out why companies struggle to cultivate digital strategies, and learn what digital transformation really means. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]

To continue reading this article register now