For the entrepreneurial New Yorker, finding office space in this Big Expensive City can be difficult. You can sign an onerous lease, or brave the Tech Bros of WeWork, or suffer the claustrophobia of your dank, overpriced apartment, consumed by the fear of your inevitable failure.
And now, there is a fourth option: You can work from a booth at a T.G.I. Fridays.
T.G.I. Fridays — the one with all the menu items drenched in Jack Daniels sauce — is now offering a special co-working day for New Yorkers at its Forest Hills location. The all-American casual dining mega-chain is but the latest establishment to try to capitalize on the phenomenon of co-working.
TGI Fridays…is offering a “Fridays Office” coworking day with free wifi at its Forest Hills location starting this week.
The Friday coworking day is part of the location’s larger revamping, which includes a new brunch menu, “open hangout area” featuring “premium coffee” and mobile payment options.
Hear that, millennials? Bring your MacBook Air! Pay with Venmo or Apple Pay! Take some Instagrams! Order up an ice-cold Diddy on the Beach—which, yes, is a tropical cocktail named after Puff Daddy!
The co-working day is apparently part of a relaunch for the Forest Hills location, and an effort to attract younger customers, who have been fleeing casual dining restaurants in recent years. The corporate arm of TGI Fridays, meanwhile, has been redesigning its restaurants to attract twenty-somethings for the past several months. Via a Business Insider report from March:
[Fridays] seems to be taking cues from Starbucks in creating "areas for mid-afternoon gatherings," with amplified bar space, WiFi, and a new full coffee menu. The restaurant has been redesigned with "hang-out spaces" on both sides of the restaurant. With these innovations, the restaurant hopes to attract customers who want to work, have meetings, or "just hang out if they want to," in the word of TGI Fridays USA president Ricky Richardson.
TGI Fridays is not the first fine dining establishment to offer its booths to nine-to-fivers. A newish startup called Spacious transforms upscale Manhattan eateries like DBGB and L'Apicio into daytime co-working establishments; a membership costs $95/month and includes coffee, light snacks, and wi-fi.
What it doesn't include, however, is the opportunity to dine on a steak that has been dunked in a sweet-yet-savory Tennessee whiskey sauce, or to order the truly eternal Endless Mozzarella Sticks. Take that, WeWork!