Your faves at Buy One Get One at TGI Fridays

Until July 31, customers can enjoy Buy One Get One deals on TGI Fridays’ most popular dishes on their designated days.

Miss eating out and dealing with a monster appetite? Here’s some good news: you can feast on your American comfort food faves twice over at TGI Fridays!

TGI Fridays, BGC

That’s what I did with my friend EJ of ILoveToEatPH this Sunday when we met up at TGI Fridays Boni High Street in BGC.

TGI Fridays, BGC

It’s been a while since we last saw each other, and quite a long while since I last ate out. And what better place to meet up and catch up than at TGI Fridays?

TGI Fridays, BGC

This global restaurant chain started in 1960s New York when Alan Stillman established a bar at the corner of 63rd and First Streets. There, he served big American burgers and beer always available on tap for his guests, making sure that they’re having a great time.

TGI Fridays, BGC

TGI Fridays is where friends and family can come together to eat their favorite American comfort food and enjoy a lively and energetic vibe. Plus, they can dine here confident that the resto is equipped to serve them in the New Normal.

When TGI Fridays re-opened for dine-in service last June 15, it has already adopted protocols and new service processes that help to safeguard the health and safety of its customers. These include:

  • Reduction of its seating capacity
  • Requirement of facemasks, temperature checks and use of disinfection mats prior to entry
  • Provision of hand sanitizers at the takeout, service, cashier and restroom/handwashing areas
  • Updating of floor plans and table arrangements to enable diners to maintain physical distancing
  • Adoption of no-contact processes (online via QR codes) for health declarations, menu ordering and payments

And to sweeten the experience of people venturing out to eat after extended home stays, TGI Fridays has extended its Buy One Get One Everyday offer. Until July 31, customers can enjoy BOGO deals on TGI Fridays’ most popular dishes on their designated days:

  • Mondays: Fridays Signature Burger, Fridays Cheeseburger and Shiitake Truffle Burger
  • Tuesdays: Baby Back Ribs
  • Wednesdays: Chicken Fingers
  • Thursdays: Fridays Liempo
  • Fridays: Fridays Mozzarella
  • Saturdays: Three-Meat Platter
  • Sundays: Seafood Platter

EJ and I munched on two orders of the Seafood Platter for just Php1,450, thanks to this BOGO deal. Each platter contains fried calamari, fish ‘n chips (battered white fish fillet and fries) and battered shrimp, accompanied by marinara and tartar sauce.

TGI Fridays, BGC

TGI Fridays, BGC

TGI Fridays, BGC

We also sipped a couple of refreshing Classic Mojitos (Php385) made with rum, mint and soda (although I asked mine to be made sans the alcohol – don’t drink and drive, folks!) and munched on complimentary nachos while waiting for our orders.

TGI Fridays, BGC

TGI Fridays, BGC

Dining out in the New Normal may involve new protocols that may take some getting used to. But, with great food and the company of great friends, who’s to say the experience won’t be as enjoyable as before?

TGI Fridays, BGC

Oh, and did I say that the Buy One Get One Everyday Promo is available for dine, to-go, pick up and delivery via GrabFood?

Participating stores include:

  • Bonifacio High Street (+63 2 88562997 | +63 995 4814847 | +63 935 2507044)
  • Alabang Town Center (+63 2 88429355 | +63 917 9530628 | +63 953 1441147)
  • Evia Lifestyle Center (+63 2 88693429 | +63 915 0298826 | +63 966 4225015)
  • SM Mall of Asia (+63 2 88219166 | +63 917 6761358 | +63 977 714 5903)
  • Glorietta (+63 2 88928910 | +63 936 9912036 | +63 936 8895744)

Thanks to EJ for the treat!

This TGI Fridays branch is located at B4 Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Click here to book your table.

TGI Fridays Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You are SAFE at The Manila Hotel

The historic hotel partially reopens in time for its 108th anniversary with upgraded hygiene protocols for guest safety; and launches special anniversary promo.

Just a day before the historic hotel’s founding anniversary, The Manila Hotel plans to partially open its doors to its valued guests, with the famed Café Ilang Ilang, the Lobby Lounge, and the Delicatessen resuming operations on July 3, 2020. A rebirth of sorts after months of following the government’s quarantine protocols, the hotel has adjusted along with the rest of the world in navigating the “new normal,” and puts a high premium on the well-being of guests. 

With the lobby shining bright anew signifying eternal hope, The Manila Hotel commemorates its 108th founding anniversary on July 4 by welcoming guests with an enduring brand of service that is now focused on enhanced health, hygiene, and sanitation protocols in line with DOH guidelines. 

As the hotel prepares for the reopening, Atty Joey Lina, the president of The Manila Hotel, assures the public, “You are safe here. We have taken every precaution to heart so you and your loved ones can have peace of mind when you visit or stay with us.”

To its valued guests who are waiting for Café Ilang Ilang to open, The Manila Hotel offers its 108th Anniversary Promo that gives the first 108 customers for the first 108 days of its reopening (including Saturdays and Sundays) a special dining rate of only Php1,250 for lunch, and only Php1,550 for dinner. Café Ilang Ilang likewise returns with a new system for dining where guests can “order and eat all you can,” meaning they can order as much food as they want from the selection of dishes at a fixed price. 

Both Café Ilang Ilang and the Lobby Lounge will be open with limited seating capacity. Thorough sanitation procedures will be implemented, and guests can order using disposable menu, eat using cutlery in sealed containers, and even use tables with acrylic dividers. Front-facing personnel communicating with guests like Guest Services Officers (GSOs) and waiters will don masks, gloves, and face shields. To limit contact with guests, Café Ilang Ilang is also fine-tuning its contactless ordering and payment system.

Adopting best practices, the hotel launches a comprehensive initiative to assure its patrons they are safe at The Manila Hotel. High-traffic public areas will have hygiene reminder signages and distance indicators, and guests will be asked to undergo mandatory temperature checks, and health declaration procedure. Limited capacity will also be implemented in elevators, while several hotel facilities will remain closed including the spa, swimming pool, gym, and other areas.  

High-touch points like door handles, elevator buttons, public area furniture, and others will be sanitized multiple times per day using UV technology. Tests reveal that UV sanitation greatly reduces the bacteria count on surfaces, as demonstrated by lower RLU readings—whose value is used as a measure of surface cleanliness—after the procedure. 

Barring announcements from the government to the contrary, the hotel also plans to start accepting room bookings by August 2020.  The public will be assured of rooms thoroughly cleaned first with UV-C light technology to eliminate germs, bacteria, and viruses; followed by medical-grade sterilizing and disinfecting solution. A change of fresh and sanitized linens; sanitation of touch points in the room including remote controls, lamps, etc.; and thorough bathroom disinfection are also art of the procedure. Guests will also receive personal wellness kits, issued a UV-sanitized keycard, and arrive to guestrooms with a seal of assurance that they are the first to enter the sanitized environment.

Because taking care of its own people means they can take better care of guests, The Manila Hotel has invested on testing its staff upon return to work to ensure they are healthy. The culinary team strictly adheres to stringent protocols on proper hygiene, hand washing, and food handling. Staff will be required to wear PPEs as needed, and a strict implementation of distancing measures will be done in the offices, front desk, and other areas frequent by guests. 

The Manila Hotel looks forward to welcoming both loyal and new guests with the kind of service it is known for, with the assurance that “YOU ARE SAFE HERE” is not just a tagline but a commitment it truly means to uphold.

WWF-Philippines holds webinar on Food Safety in The New Normal

As part of its celebration of June as the National Safety Month, WWF-Philippines, the local arm of the World Wide Fund, held the Panda Talk Food Safety: Everyone’s Business, a timely topic as the country transitions to The New Normal.

Panda Talks are WWF-Philippines’ free livestreaming educational events which aim to equip the public with information on conservation in line with the organization’s initiatives.

With many Filipinos going into buying foodstuffs online and home-based food selling, there is a need to establish food safety and food waste management practices.

Host Janine Gutierrez, WWF-Philippines’ National Youth Ambassador, and speaker Melody Melo-Rijk, WWF-Philippines’ Project Manager for the Sustainable Diner Project, discussed ways in which consumers and home-based food businesses can practice food safety in a COVID-19 world.

Food Safety in the New Normal (image sourced from freepik.com; article in beingjellybeans.com)

“Food safety is actually a shared responsibility between the food businesses and the dining public,” shares Melo-Rijk. “We all have a stake in making sure that our food is safe, nutritious and healthy to eat.”

Since COVID-19 is transmitted from human-to-human, physical distancing has become the norm. Although there is no evidence that food of animal origin can transmit the disease, preventing food contamination will reduce foodborne illness and the likelihood that novel diseases such as COVID-19 will emerge.

With these in mind, Melo-Rijk shared best practices to ensure food safety for both consumers and food businesses.

Food Safety at Home. The home has emerged as the safest place to be as it is an environment that can be easily controlled by the consumer. Steps to further safeguard household members from disease include:

  • Practice personal hygiene at all times. Washing hands from nails to elbows for twenty seconds will help to remove physical dirt and reduce microbes. Daily and thorough bathing of each household member will also prevent contamination and disease transfer. It is also important to be mindful of your water usage so turn off your faucet while still soaping your hands.
  • Clean and sanitize. Cleaning is the removal of visible physical dirt from surfaces while sanitizing involves the use of anti-bacterial agents to eliminate invisible micro-organisms. It is important to sanitize (between 60% to 85% FDA-approved sanitizing solutions are best) after cleaning to help reduce all possible contaminants.
  • Separate raw and cooked food. Raw food contains more micro-organisms than cooked food so these should be kept apart to avoid cross-contamination. This also involves the utensils use to handle food during preparation: ideally, a separate set of knives and chopping boards should be assigned for raw and cooked food; if this is too costly, food preparers can just make sure to clean and sanitize each tool prior to shifting from raw food to cooked food and vice versa.
  • Cook and store food properly. The key to cooking and storing food is temperature. Microorganisms grow best between the 5 deg and 60 deg Celsius (or 40 deg to 130 deg Fahrenheit). Food should be stored below 5 deg Celsius to slow the growth of microorganism and cooked above 60 deg Celsius to eliminate them.
  • Consume fresh food and clean water from safe sources. Avoid overstocking food to assure their freshness upon consumption. Be sure to check expiry dates of packaged food and the state of fresh produce regularly.

Food Safety in Businesses. The Department of Tourism (DOT) has already released guidelines for restaurants and food businesses to follow to ensure the safety of the dining public in accordance with the measures set by the US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA). These include:

  • Employees must be clean and healthy. Food business employees must be free from COVID-19 and other diseases. Therefore, they must always practice stringent personal hygiene, wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPEs) such as gloves, hairnets, face masks and shields, work clothes and protective covers for shoes. They should undergo regular temperature checks and immediately report any symptoms to their employers. Diners must also be required to wear face masks, undergo temperature checks, step onto sanitizing mats and provide contact details for contract tracing.
  • Clean and sanitize. All surfaces in the dining and food preparation area (including utensils and equipment) must always be cleaned and sanitized. Ingredients should, of course, be meticulously cleaned.
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times. The standard of 2 meters (6 feet) must be practiced by employees and diners alike, supported by floor markers or signs. Self-service setups (wherein diners will proceed to different areas) and displays of food items (which will encourage diners to gather in certain areas) must be avoided.
  • Ensure protocols for delivery and pickup. Measures to ensure minimal physical contact should be implemented. For example, the use of cash or credit cards that involves physical objects changing hands should be avoided, and instead be replaced by cashless payment options like G-Cash and Paymaya which allow consumers to pay for their orders remotely using their mobile phones. Food delivery apps like GrabFood and FoodPanda have also released guidelines for contactless delivery which include designating a surface outside the home for the rider to drop off the order and pick up payment.

With these measures in place, the spread of diseases can hopefully be controlled and curtailed.

Food Safety in the New Normal (image sourced from freepik.com; article in beingjellybeans.com)

Minimizing Food Waste

Even in The New Normal, sustainability should still be a priority concern with food waste comprising 80% of the country’s solid waste. The Sustainable Diner Project is WWF-Philippines’ initiative that aims to lessen food wastage and contribute to the improvement of the implementation of sustainable consumption and production processes in the food service sector. From studies and talks done by the organization with stakeholders in the food industry, the project has provided steps that consumers and food business can follow to minimize food waste. These include:

  • Plan ahead. Check your refrigerator, pantry and other food storage areas and plan your menu before going out to buy food.
  • Check labels and expiry dates.
  • Ensure proper storage and preparation of food. Ensure that food storage equipment such as refrigerators and chillers are functioning properly. The designated food storage area should be a cool and dry place, free from rodents and pests. Make sure that the food you store is properly sealed to avoid attracting rodents.
  • Only buy products you can reasonably consume. Avoid overbuying food, especially perishables. WWF-Philippines also encourages consumers to buy “ugly” fruits and vegetables which are impertfect-looking produce due to discolorations or shape but are perfectly fine when peeled.
  • Be creative with your next meal. Being stuck at home has unleashed the hidden talent in cooking that many of us have. Try to maximize the existing ingredients in your pantry and even leftovers when preparing your next meal.

The Panda Talk Food Safety: Everyone’s Business may be viewed on Facebook.

About WWF-Philippines

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF-Philippines has been successfully implementing various conservation projects to help protect some of the most biologically-significant ecosystems in Asia since its establishment as the 26th national organization of the WWF network in 1997.

Check out my other posts on conservation:

Header photo created by prostooleh – www.freepik.com

Food photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

SKY offers safe customer service

SKY subscribers can continue to expect to get safe customer service, as most of the country eases into a new normal.

As a top priority, SKY is strictly implementing safety measures during in-home services. Before any visit is done, SKY service technicians will call the subscriber first to make sure no one in the household is ill. Only a two-man team is assigned to every home so that one can work inside the subscriber’s home while one can simultaneously work outside to ensure proper physical distancing and less social interaction. Both of them will be wearing PPEs and other protective gear.

In SKY business centers, on the other hand, only a limited number of people will be allowed inside at any given time. Upon entry, customers will be required to go through thermal scanning and answer a symptoms questionnaire. Inside, physical distancing will be observed while plastic barriers are installed at the service desk. Sanitation and disinfection procedures will be conducted before and after every transaction.

Meanwhile, SKY subscribers are encouraged to continue managing their accounts digitally through SKY’s official website (mysky.com.ph/myaccounts) and the mySKY app (mysky.com.ph/app), pay via digital payment partners (mysky.com.ph/digitalpayment), seek troubleshooting guides on its website (mysky.com.ph/help), and contact SKY through its webform (mysky.com.ph/contact-us).

These protocols are put in place to safeguard the health and safety of SKY subscribers, employees and business partners. Subscribers can learn more about these safety measures as they visit http://www.mysky.com.ph/safetyprocedures and bit.ly/skybranchreopen.

To help ease the burden of subscribers during these uncertain times, they may opt to pay 50% of their outstanding balance for due dates beginning May 16, 2020. More details on this are available at bit.ly/skybill.

Stay updated and reach out to SKY by downloading the mySKY app today at www.mysky.com.ph/app.

Hotel Sogo innovates New Normal hotel features

Experts say it will take longer before the world completely heals from the effect of COVID19. As the country prepares to ease up after the almost three months of Enhance Community Quarantine, Hotel Sogo steps up for their version of the hotel industry’s ‘new normal’.

Hotel Sogo is doing various ways to ensure the safety and security of its guests and employees against the spread of Covid19 virus, once they go back to regular operations. Top on its list will be the use of ultraviolet (UV) lights in disinfecting around its facilities and intensified the process from checking-in to ordering of food to make sure their facilities as So Clean. The ultraviolet (UV) lights are highly effective at disinfection, as its rays are capable of killing bacteria, germs, and viruses.

To prepare its employees in servicing its guests, Hotel Sogo makes sure to protect their employees from the virus by giving them vitamins to boost their immunity and provided personalized PPEs. Hotel Sogo employees have their medical check-ups and Covid19 testing to make sure that their personnel is free from the virus to make sure that the employees and not just the facilities are So Good and ready for their regular operations.

Guests need not worry during their stay Hotel Sogo ensures that operations and preparations are So Safe, as mandatory temperature checks, passage through disinfecting tent, and use of disinfecting foot tray are in place. The availability of hand sanitizers in common areas, are strictly observed, as well as social distancing from the receiving process to elevator use going to their rooms. Facilities are also redesigned and modified to protect the guests and employees, like placing the glass panel divider on top of the front desk.

All of this information can be found in Hotel Sogo’s ‘new normal’ video playbook. The video is shared with relevant government agencies like the Department of Health (DOH), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Department of Tourism (DOT), in the hope that the video could serve as a benchmark of other similar establishments prior to their reopening.

Watch Hotel Sogo’s ‘new normal’ playbook video to know more.

Video and details provided by Hotel Sogo in a recent press release.