TGI Fridays criticised after axing free meals for staff

A Glasgow councillor has urged the restaurant firm to reverse the decision.

TGI Fridays criticised after axing free meals for staff Google Maps

TGI Fridays has axed free meals for staff who work longer shifts, which has sparked fury from workers. 

The restaurant chain has been criticised for cutting the benefit in the middle of a cost of living crisis for staff working a ten hour plus shift. 

But the  eatery defended its decision saying that it gives staff free fizzy drinks and half price food and wants to provide more “equitable” benefits for all employees. 

Glasgow councillor Eunis Jassemi, Labour, has urged the firm, which has a number of outlets in the city including at Sliverburn, to reverse its decision to end the free food. 

A worker and member of union Unite said: “Our working conditions have deteriorated and on top of this the company has decided to remove paid shift meals for all staff working on double shifts. It’s shameful.”

“A meal at TGI costs more than what someone on minimum wage earns in an hour and the break is unpaid.”

“In 2018 following strike action, the shift meal allowance was increased, so why take it away?”

“If TGI Fridays really valued their staff, they would let them eat.”

Councillor Eunis Jassemi, Labour, said: “Hospitality workers are some of the lowest paid workers economy but make an enormous contribution to the city. The hospitality sector is already suffering from poor transport links within the city and long working hours with job vacancies on the rise.”

He said the private and public sector needs to work together to create a more “attractive hospitality jobs market.”

A TGI Fridays spokesperson said: “The benefits on offer at TGI Fridays are among the best in the industry, including 50 per cent off all food items at any time and free soda throughout shifts.

“Additionally, staff are able to bring five family or friends to receive the same discount, which they can use all year round as many times as they wish. This is something we increased from three guests last year in response to the cost-of-living crisis.

 “We have made the decision to remove free shift meals for team members working 10 hours or more to provide more equitable benefits to everyone in our teams. We were aware of a number of staff working incredibly long shifts and we believe this has a negative impact on wellbeing.”

The spokesperson said “However, we do recognise that these are challenging economic times and this will impact our teams. As part of our ongoing efforts we are exploring a number of other benefits to support our staff.

“This includes a partnership with Wagestream, the financial wellbeing platform, which will provide all of our team with the opportunity for early access to their pay ahead of planned pay days, as well as retail and leisure discounts, financial coaching and weekly budgeting support.”

Unite Hospitality lead organiser Bryan Simpson accused the “multi-national restaurant chain” of displaying corporate greed” for scrapping the free food during a “cost of living crisis.”

He added: “We will now be meeting our members nationally to determine our collective response but all legal and industrial options will be considered.”

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