Menu Switch at TGI Friday's

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When I was in high school, I taught myself to use Corel Draw by copying logos such as Crest Toothpaste and Frito Lay Corn Chips. I printed out phony corporate letterhead, and dreamed up interesting ways to use it.

Fast forward to 2003. On a trip to TGI Fridays with Ken and May, I noticed that the TGI Fridays menu pages were paper, protected from spills behind a sheet of plastic.

The menu was already chock full of zany menu descriptions, but I wouldn't let that get in my way. I decided to make a new menu page.

Like many project ideas, this one got put onto the Cockerham back burner for several months. Eventually, my interest was rekindled. It was the TGI Friday's new Atkins-friendly low-carb menu that got my attention. This baby was aching to be ridiculed.

The first thing to do was to recruit some friends for help. I created a secret project introduction page at, asking readers of to help with the plan.

The next task was to create the new menu page. 

After obtaining a high-quality scan of the one-page Atkins menu, I began planning changes. 

I determined the appropriate font, and began writing new item descriptions.

I wanted to replace one of the meal photos with one of my own creation, the Bacon Churner which is simply two sticks of butter with bacon. I flexed my food-photography skills and prepared this low-carb masterpiece for the camera.

Raw bacon wrapped the butter really well, but the raw bacon didn't have the color I was looking for. 


I decided to use cooked slices.

These looked better, but I couldn't wrap them around the sticks of butter very well. I had to settle for a blanket of bacon with crumbled bits of bacon on top.

I made eight modifications to the menu:

"Atkins" became "Atkinz". This made the menu look like an unlicensed knock-off of the Atkins plan.

Buffalo Wings stayed on the menu, but I changed the description to read, "Buffalo wings with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks. So delicious, you'll want to throw up and eat it again."
The description for Sizzling NY Strip with Bleu Cheese became: "Notice how we call it a strip instead of a steak? After one bite, you'll be shoving five dollar bills into its G-String. And licking your fingers.

please continue reading page 2 of the TGIF menu prank

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September 28, 2004.

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