Are TGI endless appetisers a good idea: are they worth the money?

TGI endless appetisers: do you love chicken wings enough to get your money’s worth?

Pulled pork sundae

TGI Fridays has launched a special deal, offering as many starters as you can eat for one fixed price. It seems like an odd idea. After-all, how many chicken wings can a person eat? But can it be value for money?

The deal offers diners the chance to order the same starter as many times as they like for £9.99 - or choose a different one each time for £12.99. It sounds like an odd thing to offer, but if you consider it to be an American-style tapas, it might start to seem less peculiar.

It's not available all the time - just Sunday-Thursday after 7pm in the evening. You also don't have the full range of appetisers to choose from (although it does include the pulled pork sundae (pictured)), so you need to check that your favourites are part of the deal.

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Is it worth it?

It has a few things going for it. The first is that all health issues aside, there are very few people who hear the words 'chicken wings' 'pulled pork' or 'loaded potato skins' along with the word 'endless', without being able to muster at least modicum of enthusiasm.

There's also the fact that there's every chance that you can eat enough to break even. The prices vary at branches around the country, but in most cases you only have to two or three starters before the bottomless appetisers are cheaper than buying several starters individually. It's also likely to be cheaper than buying a starter and a main course - and in many cases it's actually cheaper than buying a main course on its own.

Where it differs from many other all-you-can-eat arrangements is that you're not forced to fill up on cheap carbs. If you want, you can stick entirely to the pricier meat options and forgo the potato skins and garlic bread. So for all-you-can-eat regulars, it's a serious consideration.

Of course, if you ate in, and bought yourself an enormous quantity of frozen chicken wings and marinade, you could eat as much as humanly possible for little more than £5, but if the idea is to go out with your friends, this isn't a fair comparison. In TGI terms, therefore, it may be a budget-friendly option.

Health?

You could argue against it on health grounds. Certainly there are a few issues. The more people eat, the better value the option is, which is going to encourage people to eat as much chicken, pork, fried cheese and bread as they can manage. It's not a recipe for fantastic digestion.

There are other health concerns too. If you choose carefully, you can bring together a handful of vegetables as well as meat, including tomatoes on the bruschetta and fire roasted vegetables in the taquito bites. However, trying to make up the lion's share of your five a day would involve consuming an awful lot of tortillas and bread along with it.

Most of the starters are meat heavy - and dominated by chicken wings - and most of the dishes contain their share of fat - whether it's the cheese on the double layered nachos, the fat in the pulled pork sundae, or the fact the mozzarella dippers are breaded and fried - which is never going to be the most diet-friendly option.

However, in many cases, people consider a trip to TGI Fridays as an indulgence, where fat and calorie content is not the top priority. If you were picking from the main menu, and went for grilled meat and chips, you'd be likely to be getting something a slimmer would heartily approve of.

The exception to this rule is for those who choose carefully from the full menu and select a low fat salad. However, a quick glance around the restaurant will demonstrate that there aren't a huge number of diners opting for super-healthy dinners.

If it's a rare treat, it's arguably only going to do limited damage.

But what do you think? Does this idea appeal? Will it catch on? Or would you rather have some vegetables? Let us know in the comments.