T.G.I. Friday’s “Right Portion, Right Price” is Right Direction, Says CSPI


WASHINGTON—T.G.I. Friday’s deserves credit for its new “Right Portion, Right Price” menu, which gives consumers the option of several smaller entreés when they dine out, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Last week, the restaurant chain announced the move and became the first in its category to respond to consumer demand for smaller meals at discounted prices.

“In a world where appetizers, entrées, and desserts at a chain restaurant can top 2,000 calories apiece, I’m pleased that T.G.I. Friday’s is listening to their customers and recognizing that it can play a role in improving the public’s health,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Since Americans now get about one-third of their calories from restaurants, the increased availability of healthier, portion-controlled options is a real benefit to calorie-conscious diners.”

Although T.G.I. Friday’s is removing trans fat from most of its foods and providing the new portion-controlled menu, the chain still has some catching up to do with its competitors in providing nutrition information to customers. But for a handful of “Better for You” dishes that the menu flags as having roughly 500 calories and 10 grams of fat, the company provides no nutrition information in restaurants or even online. Only two of the new smaller-portion items are in that "Better for You" category.

Last month, CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter published "X-treme Eating,” a report on the gargantuan calorie and fat content of some chain restaurant meals. CSPI advocates menu labeling legislation, which would require calories on fast-food menu boards and expanded nutrition information on chain restaurants’ printed menus.

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