Everyone’s been all over TGI Fridays’ new Endless Appetizers for $10 deal. It’s a genius move by TGIF, because even if they’re losing money on the apps individually, they’re gaining it all back in the form of word of mouth advertising. Last week, Caity Weaver wrote a piece for Gawker about her attempt to find the outer limit of TGI Fridays’ endless appetizer deal. Spoiler alert, she only eats 32 total mozzarella sticks over the course of fourteen hours, which is pretty weak sauce for a large man such as myself, but pretty impressive for a small lady. It’s a great piece. All you need to know is that it ends with the sentence, “I arrive home and throw up a little bit, but not as much as I expected.” I’d read anything that ends that way.
However, that’s not the news. The news is that FiveThirtyEight, a site established for the purpose of using advanced statistical analysis to report on politics, economics, and sports, took her story and put it through the numbers mill.
See, if Caity had been truly committed to the challenge, she wouldn’t have chosen the mozzarella sticks (which she immediately regretted), nor would she have chosen the “house favorite” potato skins. Rather, Allison McCann and Ritchie King put together a nifty calorie comparison chart, and found that she should have gone with the bruschetta if she had truly wanted to test the limits of the chain restaurant’s hospitality.
FiveThirtyEight, you’re doing the Lord’s work over there. If you guys aren’t nominated for Peabody for this story, then someone done fucked up.