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TGI Friday's and Change

My wife is still getting through college, and to help pay the bills, she got a job with TGI Friday's as a waitress about two years ago.

Friday's is an unusual company- they target a younger audience, are a bit pricy, but have amazing food. Sarah regularly rings in over 1200 dollars in sales for an 8 hour shift.

I've often wondered how Friday's is able to stay the industry leader in the highly competitive restaurant business. Sure, they have amazing food and great service, but so do a lot of places in their price range.

Sarah came home a few nights ago with a new menu from Friday's- they had changed around a third of the menu items, eliminating their less popular choices. Some customers were upset to see their favorite items were now gone. Sarah had had a hard night because of it, answering a lot of questions about the changes to the menu. Wasn't this more hassle than it's worth? I mean, they had to reprint menus, retrain chefs, re-educate waitresses and managers, and change advertisements that feature discontinued items. And they do this 2-3 times a year, far more frequently than most of their competitors.

Friday's learned a long time ago that they can't stay the same, and still stay competitive. Without change, customers gradually get bored and stop coming. They've tried out everything on the menu- why go back? 

I hate change. I always have, probably always will. But it's a vital part of being in the music business. More importantly, it's a vital part of being a human being. While we need stability, the moments of change are when we really grow, make new relationships, and become better people. The same holds true with music- when you're not changing, you're not growing.  And the minute you stop growing, you start dying. 

There's a cute little italian restaurant in my hometown that's been open for over 80 years. I've heard it has great food- amazing food, according to some of my older friends. In this restaurant's entire history, it has never once changed the menu.

I drove by the restaurant last Saturday night, and there were only three lonely cars in the empty parking lot. 

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