Gifts for fathers are usually marked with ties and cards, grilling and golf. However, this year is going to be a bit different for some lucky dads, thanks in no small part to the immense popularity of social networking sites like Facebook. TGI Friday's has launched a new online app that lets grateful kids and spouses buy dad a beer at their local restaurant. The app is a bit controversial, but it's getting some great feedback from gift givers and potential recipients alike.
How the App Works
How does one go about buying dad a beer online? The first step is to make sure that you're online with Facebook, as that's the only place other than the company's website where you can find the app. Next, you have to be 21 years of age (the company is keeping it strictly legal). Finally, you have to "like" TGI Friday's on the social network so that you can access their application. Once the app is authorized, of-age users can buy dad a gift card for the restaurant so he can enjoy a cold beer of his choice. Users are allowed to buy up to 5 gift cards at a cost of $5 each at one time.
Interestingly, TGI Friday's is using the program to help promote the sale of craft beers, which have come to make up a considerable portion of their beer sales. It is planned to run throughout the summer.
While the app is certainly popular and is being called "forward thinking" by many people, it's not without its detractors. There are several organizations that are horrified by the move and want it shut down. Concerns range from the growing use of social media sites to promote the consumption of alcohol to the possibility of encouraging underage drinking.
Of course, TGI Friday's has an answer to that. While there's really no way to make sure that those who buy the certificates really are 21 years of age, the fact that the certificate must be redeemed in person at a restaurant (where ID will be verified) certainly takes a lot of the concern out of the picture.
How the Certificates Are Used
How does a dad go about using one of these certificates? Recipients can print off the certificate from their email and take it in for redemption. Of course, they can also be left on a cell phone and redeemed in person that way.