DANVILLE, CA — TouchTunes Corp. has been selected by TGI Friday’s as its exclusive provider of digital music. It will maintain ownership of the Gen 3 broadband-enabled Ovation and Allegro jukebox models, which will likely be installed in all 324 corporate-owned Friday’s locations by the end of September. TouchTunes jukes will also be recommended and made available to Friday’s 300 franchisee locations. The agreement was announced last week.
A national network of operators, managed by The Pelican Group here, will service and maintain the jukeboxes on a local level. According to Pelican, a leading nationwide management company, the arrangement means operators won’t need to make any upfront capital investment. It will select operators to participate in the Friday’s installation and will act as liaison between the involved parties.
Also announced was a deal for Pelican’s operator network to install operator-owned Merit Aurora countertops in all Friday’s locations. Pelican said tests with both pieces of equipment demonstrated “exceptional” earnings.
TGI Friday’s Inc. is a division of privately held Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (Minneapolis), which operates, franchises and licenses 1,019 restaurants in 59 countries. The first Friday’s restaurant opened in 1965 in New York City at the corner of First Ave. and 63rd St. It grew into a 12-unit chain by 1975 when it was acquired by Carlson.
TouchTunes collaborated with Friday’s executives to get a better understanding of what genres of music are best suited to its patrons’ tastes and the company’s brand image. Accordingly, the jukebox company created a custom music catalog for the chain. It will update this on a continuing basis to keep the music fresh and aligned with corporate goals.
TouchTunes said the digital jukeboxes will offer more family-oriented music during the day and nightlife-oriented music available at night. When there are no paid plays in the queue, units will automatically provide background music.
“We are pleased that a well-known, successful chain like TGI Friday’s has recognized that by deploying our systems with the management team of Pelican, they are not only creating a new revenue stream, but are also able to reduce their overall entertainment and marketing budgets,” said Ed Tuhkanen, who heads up sales for TouchTunes’ national accounts division. “Friday’s will also be taking advantage of our digital focus group capabilities, which make connecting with the customer easier than ever before.”
Pelican manages more than 35,000 pieces of coin-operated music, amusement and vending equipment for corporate clients, including Bennigan’s restaurants and AMF Bowling centers, through a network of more than 420 operators. With offices across the country, the 36-year-old company acts as a single source for logistics, contract administration and accounting for clients with locations in multiple geographical regions.