TGI Fridays


TGI Fridays

WorkForce Pro printer fleet and Managed Print Services saves energy, frees up team time and helps to control costs

Award winning restaurant brand TGI Friday’s UK Ltd. offers its guests a place to relax, have a good time and catch up with friends or family.  Established in 1965, Friday’s offers authentic American food, signature cocktails, and a lively, personalised experience.  In 1986, it opened its first restaurant in the UK  and currently has 920 restaurants in 61 countries. Sixty-plus of these restaurants are based in the UK with several more openings planned for this year.

Printers lacked that “Friday Feeling”

TGI Fridays had a small colour multi-function inkjet printer in the back office of each of its restaurants.  These were used for day-to-day printing requirements such as team rotas, stock control documents, food ordering forms, HR collateral and staff notices. Initially, the printers suited the needs of the business, but it eventually became apparent that these weren’t fit for purpose.  Debbie Whittle, IT service delivery manager at TGI Fridays comments: “The printer model quickly became obsolete and supporting multi models had a detrimental effect on our business.  They often needed new drivers or different consumables and sometimes we had to replace the printers altogether.”   The result of this was a growing stock of cartridges and consumables that were no longer useful to us.   It made the management of supplies difficult and tracking of costs hard to control:  It wasn’t a cost effective solution.

The printers also became unreliable with their failure rate increasing as they became older.  The inability to print time critical documents had a knock on effect with the rest of the business and resulted in missed deadlines with other departments.  Something had to change.

Meeting the needs of the business

There were a number of business requirements which were essential to Friday’s printing needs.  Everything the company does aligns with its exacting corporate social responsibility standards.   Friday's strives to treat the environment with the same respect it shows its guests.  It uses converted cooking oil in all its delivery trucks, has installed smart meters to track and measure energy usage, and will soon be using certified 'green electricity' in all its restaurants.  Friday's is also the only brand where 98% of its waste does not go to landfill and wanted printers which would align with the company’s eco values and vision.

Back office space within each of Friday’s restaurants is limited, therefore the printers need to be compact, yet still deliver high quality, cost effective prints quickly and efficiently.  They needed to be reliable: failure and printer down time was not an option.  Ensuring that restaurant staff could get on with managing and running their busy stores rather than sorting out printer issues needed to be considered.  Fridays also wanted an automated system to manage the supply of consumables so that replacement ink cartridges could be delivered as needed rather than taking up valuable storage space within the stores.  This would also provide a visible insight into print costs and efficiencies while removing the need for staff having to buy ink from local stationers.  A managed print service was particularly attractive option as it would address these issues.

A trouble-free Managed Print Service

Fridays worked closely with Computacenter, an independent provider of IT infrastructure services, to find a new printing solution.  Phill Rycraft, print solutions specialist at Computacenter explained: “We conducted an analysis of what TGI Fridays were looking for from their print solution.  We tested a number of different products that were available in the market that appeared to best suit their requirements.  We also looked at the user and back office support service, not just the printer itself.  It was very obvious the Epson offering, infrastructure and printer would deliver the service to Fridays that would give them the visibility of cost, excellent break fix service and importantly ease of use that they were looking for.”

From the beginning it quickly became apparent that Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4595 DNF was the one of the few printers that ticked all the boxes.  It’s specifically designed to offer cost efficiency and high quality output and durability along with performance, great reliability and up to 50 percent lower cost per page than competitive lasers[1].   Furthermore it offers an 80 percent reduction[2] in energy consumption compared to competitive lasers, providing both efficiency and environmental benefits.  Additional cost savings are delivered due to a super-fast automatic double-sided printing function, reducing paper usage.

Debbie Whittle continues: “On first look the Epson WorkForce Pro had everything we needed, but it was also incredibly easy to use.  The last thing you want is a printer packed full of features that no-one really needs, or worse still, doesn’t know how to use.  The WorkForce Pro not only looked good, it fitted the size of the office space, and when retail space is at a premium, this is a really important consideration.”

Positive Results

Following a successful trial, the Epson WorkForce Pro printers were installed by Computacenter into each of Friday’s 60-plus restaurants throughout the UK.  Phill comments: “The installation went really well with no impact on the stores as the printers were put in place.  All in all, the five week roll out was very straightforward, with 12-14 stores completed each week.  We avoided critical times such as key trading days and busy periods to avoid unnecessary disruption.  Epson provided fantastic support throughout the installation, providing key information and documentation.  Epson added additional value to Friday’s and Computacenter by training helpdesk staff to triage and resolve service calls quickly.”

Debbie Whittle comments: “We’ve done an analysis of support time required for the new print solution compared with the old products.  Call volumes have decreased by a massive 81% which means our people can get on with what they’re best at – running our restaurants.”

The WorkForce Pro printers have high-yield cartridges providing up to 3,400 pages each.  They provide Friday’s with top-quality prints that are water, smudge, highlighter and fade resistant.  As they are quick change with no mess, there is less user intervention needed.

With its Print Performance programme Epson has delivered a fully automated service which provides them with total visibility of all printers throughout the estate and in particular their usage.  Epson monitors the printers’ status and automatically sends out ink to the sites when it’s needed.  Debbie comments, “We’re really pleased with how efficient this service is.  It takes the hassle of ordering consumables away from the stores, and means that we don’t need to worry about storage space for ink cartridges.  It’s just one less thing for our store managers to worry about.”

[1] Comparison made against the top 10 A4 colour laser printers and MFPs sold in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK in Q4 2010 as tracked by IDC. Cost per page is calculated from manufacturers' official list prices for toner cartridges and published yields in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK as of December 2010.

[2] Comparison made against the top 10 A4 Colour Laser Printers & MFPs sold in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, & UK in Q1 2011 tracked by IDC; power consumption calculated using manufacturers' published data for Print/Average Mode as of July 2011