I was the first to speak to the CEO of TGI Friday’s about their plastic straw usage. That conversation helped prompt their actions to remove plastic straws at Friday’s UK. 🙌
With over 80 restaurants, serving literally thousands of people on a daily basis, this is a huge victory for preventing plastic pollution – at source!
So, why was I working in TGI Friday’s, a huge high street chain?
When we were starting out at City to Sea it was all hands on deck, but we didn’t have much in the way of budget coming in. So having just moved to Bristol and after 15 years I went back to waiting tables. Which was a shock to the system, I remembered it being easy?! Hard work yes, but in an easy way. It wasn’t. If you underestimate waiting tables, you’ve never done it!
During my interview at TGIs in 2015 I let my manager knew I was preventing plastic pollution, she was really encouraging and Friday’s welcomed me to the team. Giving me all the flexibility I needed to work on City to Sea. It also gave me the opportunity to encourage change, on a massive scale. So when Karen Forrester, the CEO was paying a store visit in 2016 I made sure I was there to chat with her … (I wasn’t missing that chance!) Karen was attentive took on what I said and we then conversed over email.
I then followed up that conversation with her manager, area manager and the right people at HQ, and now in just a couple of weeks single use plastic straws will be a thing of the past in TGI Friday’s UK!!
There’s always more large restaurants can do, but this is a fantastic start and may prompt other large chains to follow, and TGI Friday’s across the globe … How can they not?!
It’s a fantastic example of how conversations, with the right people really can inspire massive change. Aim high, and watch as plastic pollution prevention ripples out … Individuals actions add up, I’m a huge champion of that but I learnt in Portugal by going to the “top” we can inspire change on a big scale, making it easier for people, or normal for those they might not even know about plastic pollution Have a think … who could you talk to?
I left TGI Friday’s last Summer, after two years of waiting tables in the evenings and at weekends. I’m grateful to TGIs for all the support they gave me, and the friend’s I made there. Not to mention them ditching single use plastic straws!! 🙌🙌🙌
Remember; every refusal adds up, so does every conversation …