TGI Fridays Serves a Side of Extra Caution on their Allergen Menu

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One of the most difficult chain restaurants to plan for is TGI Fridays. They do offer an allergen menu with top allergen icons, but it’s near worthless for dairy-free and allergen diners due to its lack of detail. We’ve created the very mini dairy-free menu for TGI Friday’s below, with some additional details to help in custom ordering.

TGI Fridays Dairy-Free Menu Guide, Allergen Menu, and Custom Order Notes

Dairy-Free Menu Guide for TGI Fridays

This is the U.S. guide. In Australia, there isn’t a single item listed on the menu as milk-free (even the coleslaw contains dairy). On the contrary, U.K. customers can enjoy a small Vegan Menu.

Add-Ons

  • Half-Rack of Apple Butter BBQ Ribs

Heads Up! The Apple Butter BBQ Ribs main is listed as containing milk. Likely due to the sides.

Sides

  • Coleslaw

Salad Dressings

  • Honey Mustard
  • Sesame Citrus

Kids

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Marinara Pasta

Why Does Almost Everything at TGI Fridays contain Milk / Dairy?

The reason the dairy-free options are so anemic at TGI Fridays is because they put allergen icons on any food item that’s at risk for cross-contamination with that allergen. Even their plain Chips & Salsa are listed as containing six top allergens! In reality, all foods are at risk for potential cross-contamination with allergens, particularly in a commercial kitchen.

When visiting TGI Fridays, I have spoken with a manager, and they are able to tell me which items are made without dairy. Some locations can even accommodate clean grill or sauté pan cooking if cross-contamination is a concern. But like most restaurant kitchens, they do use shared fryers, shared grills, and shared utensils in everyday preparation of menu items.

TGI Fridays Allergen Menu

Click the image for the full-size, two-page allergen menu for TGI Fridays.

TGI Fridays Allergen Menu 2021 and Dairy-Free Options

Where to Find TGI Fridays

TGI Friday’s currently has over 900 restaurants in about 60 countries. See the website below to find locations, hours, and more.

Website: www.tgifridays.com

This Post is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

Where to Find TGI Fridays

TGI Friday’s currently has over 800 restaurants in about 60 countries. See the website below for addresses, hours, and online ordering.

Website: www.tgifridays.com

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

9 Comments

  1. The Dragon Fire Salmon looks to be removed from the menu. Now the only dairy free options outside of fruit is the BBQ ribs and chicken noodle soup.

  2. Went with my family and watched everyone eat because all of their food supposedly contains dairy. That allergy menu is pointless . Pretty much says don’t eat anything. Doesn’t tell you what you can order. That’s bad business right there.

  3. Even a plain steak is not ok. They told me that the steaks are injected with butter for flavoring before the steaks even arrive at the restaurant.

  4. Right now I am trying to figure out what foods I am allergic too. My doctors are 99% sure I am allergic to dairy. I looked at the fridays allergen menu and everyone is right, everything has dairy. I usually get the California club without cheese. I having a feeling the reason it says there is dairy is because of the cheese. However, now I am worried there may be milk in the buns they use. Does anyone know what ingredients are in the buns?

  5. Former Fridays Fan on

    I have been a TGI Fridays fan for years! But after a recent lactose-intolerance diagnosis, we have been just once. As others have reported, there is virtually nothing on the menu that is listed as dairy-free (I found the dragonfire salmon, broccoli, and fruit cup). I ended up opting for the house salad with no cheese or croutons. This came in a small bowl & consisted of lettuce, some grape tomatoes, and a few bits of chopped up cucumber. Our waitress was great & exclaimed that she expected it to be much bigger. She took it back to the kitchen and had them make it larger for me. That was so kind! However, how much lettuce can one eat for a meal? As others reported, I also received no assistance (no manager who knows/understands allergies & their menu, or indications on the allergy menu to “order w/o cheese”) for trying to order something other than three items listed above that didn’t have the milk symbol. This was such a disappointing experience for me AND everyone with me (who felt bad while I sat with my giant bowl of lettuce). Fridays seems to be taking such a half-hearted approach to allergies.

  6. Also wanted to share my dissatisfaction with TGI Friday’s. I live right across the street from one, and given the size of their menu, you would think there would be *something* to eat. It’s really a shame they don’t work to accommodate customers with food allergens 🙁

  7. I have a friend that works at TGI Fridays and the first time we went their to eat we made sure to sit in her section. She took the time to pull out their allergy binder (thats right, a 3″ binder with all the nutrition and allergy information) and went through it. After she went completely through the binder, we decided there was nothing I could have by default, even without the obvious things like cheese. There was too much shared equipment. In the end, she got one of the cooks to clean off a spot on the grill, lay down aluminum foil and cook a plain steak on it. I couldn’t have any sides so I ended up with a steak and a water for dinner. It was a good steak, but I wouldn’t go there again for Dairy free food.

  8. I tried going to Friday’s before I read about it here. It was one of the worst experiences I have had trying to eat dairy-free. The menu has basically nothing listed as being dairy-free. My waiter tried to be helpful and said he would get their “nutritional specialist” to come to my table and talk to me. Then, I overheard him talking to a manager, who seemed annoyed about his request for her to come talk to me. She made some remark to him that almost offended me, but I could not hear her clearly enough to note exactly what she said. She came to our table and when I told her that I needed to have a meal with no dairy in it, she told me to look at their allergen menu, which I already had in my hand. I pointed out that almost everything listed milk as an ingredient and asked her if there were recommendations she could make for something I could order without cheese or whatever to make it dairy free. This “nutritional specialist” told me that basically my only choice was to order a plain salad, with no cheese or croutons. She was very unpleasant and not helpful at all. I ended up ordering the Dragonfire salmon, which was basically the only thing on the menu without a milk symbol and some steamed broccoli, with no butter. The manager had not even mentioned this salmon as a dairy free option. It was good enough, but I will never go back to Friday’s again.

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