- We compared all the differences between TGI Friday’s in the UK and the US.
- The full rack of ribs in the US is nearly twice the size of the UK equivalent.
- Many of the UK TGI Fridays products can be found at Ice Box locations.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Harry Kersh: From calorie count to portion sizes, we wanted to find out all the differences between TGI Fridays in the UK and the US. This is “Food Wars.”
Harry:Let’s start with the starters. Now, TGI Fridays in the UK and the US both have lots of starter options. So what we’re gonna do is pick the most popular ones and compare those. First up, we have the mozzarella sticks. An order of these in the UK contains four sticks.
Joe Avella: In the US, our TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks come in an order of six. Six sticks. Or you can get the platter, which doubles that. 12 sticks.
Harry: We’re gonna weigh three UK mozzarella sticks to try and find the average weight.
Hey, Harry, is that three sticks? Thought we, ah … thought that order had four. [“Don’t Be Suspicious” plays]
Harry: So, three mozzarella sticks in the UK weighed 95 grams. That means that each individual mozzarella stick weighed an average of 31.6 grams.
Joe: Yes. So, six sticks is 260 grams. So that’s roughly 43-point-repeating-3 grams per stick. Now, pro tip, weigh your food, then try one. Mm. TGI Fridays is running the mozzarella cheese stick game. They’re running the moz stick game. Mm.
Harry: The UK does have loaded potato skins, but they’re not currently serving them due to the pandemic, as they don’t travel very well for delivery. However, we were able to find some in the store. When they are available in the restaurants, they come in serving sizes of six or 12.
Joe: Well, we didn’t have that problem in the US, or maybe we just don’t care. Either way, loaded potato skins are totally available at the US TGI Fridays, and they come in two sizes. You can get them in eight, or you get the platty boy, which is 12.
Harry: Chicken wings in the UK come in two portion sizes. As a single portion of three wings, or as a sharing portion, which is six wings. ♪ Chicken wing, chicken wing ♪
Joe: Hey, Harry, when I said to compare the wings between the US and the UK, I meant these wings. Maybe it’s cultural differences, or maybe I just read the menu wrong. Anyway! In the US, our wings come in an order of 10, or you can get a platter of either 30 or 50 wings. Hell yeah, dude. I wanna eat every single one of these wings.
Harry: If you like your chicken off the bone, you can also get boneless wings at TGI Fridays, in both the UK and the US. Here they come in two portion sizes, as a single, which is 7 ounces (198.45g), or as a sharing size, which is 14 ounces (396.89g).
Joe: In the US, our TGI Fridays offer boneless wings by ounces. You can get 10 ounces (283.50g), 40 ounces (1,133.98g), or a platter of 80 ounces (2,267.96g). Look at this. You have no idea how good this smells. That is so good! How are they so good?
Harry: The ribs in the UK come in two sizes, as a half rack, or as a full rack. And both come in either a legendary or a barbecue glaze. Our ribs in the US also come in a half slab or a full slab. We’re gonna weigh our large portion to see who out of me or Joe has the biggest rack. [ba-dum tish] So, a large rack of ribs in the UK came to around 366 grams.
Joe: Bunch of children over there. “Joe’s rack.” Grow up! All right, here we go. Zoop! Ooh, this guy’s already falling apart. Tender. And a full slab in the US is almost 600 grams. How do you like that? I got the bigger rack.
Harry: Most meals in the UK come with a side of fries by default. So we’re gonna weigh a regular portion of fries to see what it comes to.
Joe: Yikes, ours is only 120. 120 for a side of fries in the US. Hm.
Harry: Here is everything you will only find on the menu at a UK TGI Fridays.
And this is everything you can get in the US and not the UK at a TGI Fridays.
Harry: Let’s start with some appetizers. For example, over here, we have these, which are lightly spiced shrimp. They’re just shrimp which are breaded, fried, and, I presume, lightly spiced. It’s slightly strange that they’ve been referred to as shrimp on the menu here, as it’s more common in the UK to refer to them as prawn. It seems like TGI Fridays UK have sided with their American overlord, which is disappointing. Then we have two garlic bread options. This is a garlic ciabatta, and then this one is a garlic ciabatta with cheese.
Joe: Pot stickers. These things are so good, dude. They’re in no way authentic to what a pot sticker should be. But in a category all of its own, those are pretty good. The spinach and artichoke dip. This is, like, classic TGI Fridays, right? You know what we got in the US you don’t got in the UK? Wing roulette. So, what that means is you can get, I think, what looks like nine or 10 wings and three different sauces, but you can’t tell, maybe you get a really spicy one, maybe you get a mild one, you don’t know. Do you wanna play wing roulette with me, Conner?
Joe: There, you can take it with the paper. But wait until I get mine.
Conner: Got it.
Joe: OK. All right, buddy. Ready?
Conner: Ready. Wing roulette. One, two, three. I think I might’ve gotten the spicy one. Ooh. Uh-oh. Yeah, I think I got the atomic one. Yeah, dude. That’s fun. Isn’t that fun? [laughing] It’s fun to torture your friends when you’re out eating.
Harry: We have two exclusive chicken sandwich options. For example, this one, which is the Californian chicken club sandwich. And then this one over here, which is the Louisiana Hot Mess sandwich. Next up, we’ve got some hot dogs. This is the classic American hot dog. There’s really not that much to say about it because it is just a hot dog on a bun. Although Joe will be excited to learn that it’s not sliced in half.
Joe: It’s a burger with cheese fries on it. Look — [laughs] Look at this thing. I gotta know. I have to know. This is good, dude. I would get this at TGI Fridays. I’m surprised by how good this is. So, we got a signature whiskey-glaze flat iron steak. Bet that’s the glaze sauce right there. And then we got the New York strip. The Dragon-Glaze Salmon, you got a shot of this before. You know what I noticed? They have this sizzling chicken and cheese dish. So I’m assuming it goes through the dining room sizzling on the plate. Because, I noticed TGI Fridays does not have fajitas. I’m surprised by that. So if your US TGI Fridays has fajitas, let me know. ‘Cause I didn’t see them on our menu, and I didn’t see them on several other menus. This is the Philly cheesesteak burger. I don’t know. Oh, man, this thing’s super messy. They got the peppers, the onions, the melted cheese, and what appears to be shredded beef, and all on top of a burger. No, thanks.
Harry: We have three sides which it looks like you guys can’t get in America. We’ll start with these ones from the back, which are the Cajun spiced onion rings. While you guys can get onion rings, I thought it was worth pointing out that these ones are Cajun spiced, and they’re only ones available on the UK menu. [onion ring crunching] Next up, we’ve got corn on the cob, which comes served with butter and what looks to be even more Cajun seasoning. And then, once again, we have what is fast becoming my archnemesis on this show, which is the sweet potato fry. Those of you who’ve watched episodes before will probably know that I’m not the biggest fan of sweet potato fries for this reason. They go super soggy. They are bland. They are not as good as regular fries. And they cost more. Stop ordering them.
Joe: Broccoli and cheddar soup. Yo, that’s – oh, man. That’s been sitting for a while. That broccoli odor just hit me. Cheddar mac and cheese, a classic side.
Harry: Then there’s also a kid’s menu hot dog, which is smaller in size but also gives you the option to add cheese, which, personally, not convinced is the best move, but you do you.
Joe: Something for the kids. Get sliders and fries, mac and cheese. What youngster doesn’t like mac and cheese? Come on, now. And pasta, one with the marinara. And it comes with a side of either fries or probably some veggies or fruit, I don’t know.
Harry: We also have milkshakes at TGI Fridays in the UK. We’ve got two here, which are the Oreo shake and the chocolate shake.
Joe: Fridays is known for their signature drinks, their signature margs. So you can get, at TGI Fridays in the US at least, your margs to go in a single beverage, or 64 fluid ounces of Fridays’ margarita. Hell yeah, dude. You know I’m drinking all this tonight. Thank you, Fridays.
Harry: Now, the one dessert option we were actually able to pick up today was this, the Chocolate Fudge Fixation cake. It’s a very indulgent-looking chocolate cake with some chocolate icing, and also what looks like a healthy layer of fudge in the middle.
Joe: You can get this really fun slice of rainbow cake from, I think it’s Carlo’s Bakery rainbow cake. Look at that, isn’t that fun? That’s fun. Cinnabon caramel pecan slice of cheesecake. Dude, this, I bet, is amazing. And I gotta give it up to TGI Fridays. They were nice enough that each slice of cake comes with a scoop of ice cream. It’s been a minute. So imagine a scoop of ice cream with sprinkles in this. Sorry, guys. We don’t have a freezer.
Harry: Now, usually we’d have a lot more to show you, but because of the pandemic, TGI Fridays in the UK have reduced their operations. So here’s what you would normally be able to find on top of what we’ve already shown you. Avocado hummus, cheesy nachos, a rib eye steak, a Texan steak, garlic chicken, king prawn linguine, teriyaki salmon, fajitas, a Warrior burger with mozzarella sticks in the burger, loaded Warrior fries, loaded Mario fries, rosti potato fries, a s’mores sundae, a cookie dough sundae, a New York cheesecake, fresh fruit and orange sorbet sundae, and then, on the kid’s menu, you can get fish fingers, chicken burgers, boneless bites, tomato tubes, chicken wrap, vegan meatball penne, veggie burgers, create your own dessert, Chilly Billy ice lolly, and a fruit cup.
Harry: Unfortunately, TGI Fridays in the UK doesn’t disclose its nutritional information. We were able to find some of it, but that was through third-party websites and articles. For example, in the UK we found that one mozzarella stick contains 110 calories, 6 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein, bringing the total for a side order of mozzarella sticks to 440 calories.
Joe: We did get our nutrition information from TGI Fridays, and a US order of mozzarella sticks are 840 calories, 52 grams of fat, 24 of those are saturated fat, 1,400 milligrams of sodium, and 54 grams of carbs. Divide all that by six, and one stick is 140 calories.
Harry: While currently the only available potato skins are the ones you can find at a store in the UK, if we could get them in a restaurant, one of them is 210 calories, bringing an order of six to 1,260 calories.
Joe: And in the US, an order of loaded potato skins is 1,510 calories. That is 73 grams of fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, 1,950 milligrams of sodium, and 176 grams of carbs. Ahem. That means that just one skin is 188.75 calories.
Harry: A standard chicken wing at a UK TGI Fridays is tossed in Frank’s RedHot sauce and contains 50 calories, 3.3 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of carbs, and 300 milligrams of sodium, bringing a total of six wings, because who’s ordering the three, to 300 calories. I don’t even like Frank’s RedHot sauce. Why do people … like, I’m sorry, it’s just bad. Way too vinegary. Acidic. I don’t want that from a hot sauce. I want heat.
Joe: A standard order of wings at TGI Fridays in the US is tossed in Frank’s RedHot and is 640 calories, 39 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 2,660 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of carbs. And if you break that down, on average, it is 64 calories per wing. If you decide to get your wings with the whiskey glaze, like I got right here, that brings the total calories up to 830. Now you have 40 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 1,300 milligrams of sodium, and 51 grams of carbs. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “I want more calories!” You’re in luck. Just go ahead and get the garlic Parmesan wings. That brings the whole thing up to 960 calories, and 71 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1,650 milligrams of sodium, and 116 grams of carbs. Hate bones, you say? Scared of skeletons? Well, if you get boneless wings instead, you’re now getting 770 calories. That’s 42 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 4,100 milligrams of sodium, and 54 grams of carbs. “But, Joe, I need more calories. I’m on this cleanse in which I only eat calories. What on earth can I get?” you ask. Glad you did. Whiskey glaze. That kicks up your calories to 960, 43 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 2,740 milligrams of sodium, 103 carbos.
Harry: I haven’t talked for a while. Now, there are two ribs currently available in the UK, which is the classic ribs with the legendary glaze made with Jack Daniel’s, or the barbecue ribs. I’d love to tell you more, but unfortunately, as I said before, TGI Fridays in the UK does not disclose its nutritional information. On their website, they instead have this cryptic message: You can get their frozen barbecue ribs at Iceland stores in the UK. And, as a result, we know that there are 1,103 calories in a box.
Joe: In the US, a half rack of signature whiskey-glaze ribs with coleslaw and fries is 1,100 calories, 51 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 2,180 milligrams of sodium, geez with the sodium, guys! And 129 grams of carbs. And if you decide to go with the full rack of ribs, that brings that whole meal up to 1,630 calories. That’s 75 grams of fat, 25 grams of saturated fat, 2,940 milligrams of sodium, yo, and 178 grams of carbs.
Harry: Now, while most of the meals don’t have nutritional information offered, it does say on the website that they offer the nutritional info for the kids’ meals. So we’re gonna see if that is the case. [chaotic music] [typing] So, it turns out that’s a lie and they currently do not have the information, just allergens instead. Due to the limited information available online, and also the reduced menu because of the pandemic, we’re not sure 100% what the most calorific menu item is. But we’re pretty sure that right now it’s this, the whiskey-glazed sesame chicken strips. According to the info we found online, a portion of these contains 1,840 calories, which is 92% of your daily allowance. To burn off the calories in this dish, you’d need to walk for 371 minutes, jog for 157 minutes, or dance for 313 minutes. So, I better get started.
Joe: The most calorific thing at a TGI Fridays in the US that’s currently available, due to limited menu options, is this, the chicken Parm pasta. Yo! I don’t know about this, man. [laughing] I do not know about this. I don’t, that’s not cheddar cheese, is it? What is that? This chicken Parm pasta has 1,890 calories, 107 grams of fat, 43 grams of saturated fat, 4,130 milligrams of sodium. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is the most sodium-rific thing we’ve talked about for this video. Yes? I think so. 4,130 milligrams of sodium, that has to be a record. 154 grams of carbs, 22 grams of sugar, and 74 grams of protein. Now, this, believe it or not, is not the most calorific menu item at a TGI Fridays in the US. That distinguished honor goes to the Chinese chicken wrap. 3,570 calories, 182 grams of fat, 46 grams of saturated fat. This can’t be right. 8,220 milligrams of sodium? 365 grams of carbs, and 83 grams of sugar. So that is twice your daily calories and your daily fat. That’s three times your daily sodium in just one wrap. That is incredible, TGI Fridays. I salute you. I have to try this chicken.
Harry: I have a shocking announcement to make, which is that TGI Fridays in the UK also doesn’t disclose its ingredients information.
Joe: TGI Fridays in the US also does not disclose their ingredients.
Harry: What do we do now? I’m going in on these wings.
Harry: I do wish I could dance, but I just can’t. It’s not for me.