Six branches of the family-friendly, casual dining restaurant TGI Fridays outlets have newly been reimagined to create an updated look and feel using statement walls, a new zoning strategy and a nod to its popular branding elements.
The first of these outlets was completed last year in Kuwait, while two others were fitted out in February this year in the UAE – one at the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai and the other at Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi.
Work is currently in progress on three other branches in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are expected to launch within the year. Dubai-based interior design firm H2R Design was appointed to redesign all of these six TGI Fridays outlets in the region which are managed by Americana Food Company.
The design intent was not only to reinterpret and elevate elements of TGI Fridays’ origins, but also to create a modern and fresh new look to embrace millennial trends and enhance the dining experience. There was a need to differentiate areas of the restaurant to create a range of experiences which can accommodate more intimate dinners as well as large group gatherings.
Commenting about the project, Hasan Roomi, Co-founder of H2R Design, says: “TGI Fridays is a brand everybody knows and loves, so we were excited to work on the reimagining of six of their key outlets. We focused on creating a fun environment that prioritises the customer experience and promotes sharing good times, much like the brand values. We wanted the design to create a mood that makes guests feel happy and special and reflects what’s on the menu and the core values of the brand.
“We are also incredibly proud that our work has also inspired the design of other outlets in the region and look forward to seeing them all come to life.”
Each of the six outlets has its own distinguishing features based on the size, location and audience needs at that specific venue. However, what underpins the overall reimagining is the bold, bright and fun design which keeps in line with the TGI Fridays tradition.
Distinctive furniture has been used in the space with a combination of rectangular and round tables. Modern chairs in block colours with a range of unique seating options – such as circular constructed booths, communal tables, lounge chairs, benches and banquets – allow the customers the option of how they would like to dine, Roomi says.
Bold triangular blocks of black and red add an accent to the flooring and continue to elevate the quirky design.
“Personalised experiences can be created with areas sectioned off for different uses. This zoning strategy uses colour blocking and timber/metal planter partitions to create a physical and visual separation. This adds personality and playfulness into the space, while giving a practical solution to different guest preferences,” Roomi explains.
Another design feature that has been integrated as a new element into all the branches is the minimal wooden beams that run across the ceiling. This elevated the otherwise simple and unornamented ceiling, bringing warmth to the space, he adds.
An addition of greenery creates an aesthetically-pleasing, relaxing, and inviting atmosphere, whilst it also contrasts with some of the brighter design elements synonymous to the brand.
“Everybody knows TGI Fridays for its famous red and white branding and its memorabilia-adorned walls. In line with this, H2R created an impressive wall with 3D dynamic backlit letters lighting up to reveal relevant descriptions that embody TGIF’s customer experience. This eye-catching statement red section also complements the red communal tables and serves as a focal point of interest in the space,” Roomi explains.
H2R Design has found clever ways to integrate “TGIF” into the design including a special projection brick wall where the letters are juxtaposed with the wall, playing with the positioning and rotation of the bricks.
Around the restaurant, much-loved timeless memorabilia are framed in vitrines while modern monochrome posters feature the TGI Fridays letters on iconic city landmarks. The music and sports posters featured in the space are a reminiscent touch to the original TGI Fridays.
H2R Design is a multi-award-winning London and Dubai-based design firm founded by Hasan and Husain Roomi, two UK-born brothers with Middle Eastern background who are supported by a team with broad global experience.