Comparing TGI Friday’s to Fusian Japanese Eatery – English Essay
The two restaurants that I chose for research were T.G.I. Friday’s and Fusian Japanese Eatery. I chose these two because I love Fridays for having a variety of foods, such as steak, hamburgers, chicken, spaghetti and many other
items. On the other side, I love to eat Sushi and Fusian has an excellent selection and very tasty sushi, along with soups, salads, and lunch/dinner combinations. But mainly, I would categorize Fridays as an all around restaurant, and Fusian as a Sushi restaurant. As far as location goes, Fridays is located about 10 minutes away from UCF by car, going south on Alafaya, and is located in the Waterford Plaza, along with several other restaurants. Fusian is located right across from the UCF campus, so it is in walking distance. I had dinner at T.G.I.F. on Saturday, November 5th at around 6:30pm and I went to Fusian on Friday, November 4th at 8:00pm.
I went with a friend of mine to Fridays, and the duration of the visit was about an hour. We had some trouble with the food, but Ill get to that later. I had 7 other people with me when I went to Fusian sushi, but only 6 of them, including me, ate something. The number of employees that I interacted with at Fridays was 3 people, and only 2 at Fusian Japanese eatery. The atmosphere of both restaurants are different, since one has a bar and ‘supports’ drinking, while the Japanese restaurant is more of a relaxing, tea kind of atmosphere. However, both places had their ups and downs, which I will talk about shortly.
In this section I will describe the outside setting and such of both restaurants, first talking about T.G.I. Friday’s and then Fusian.
This restaurant is very easy to find. If you go South on Alafaya, you will see it on the left side in a shopping plaza. It is located right by an entrance and its sign is brightly lit up. You can see it from several hundred feet away. And because it is in a shopping plaza, if you have been to the stores in the Waterford plaza, I am sure you would have seen the Fridays. I would say it’s pretty inviting. The Red, white, black coloring of it is very enticing for some reason, and as the name goes “Thank God It’s Friday” tells me that this place is somewhere to go to relax and have a good time. My friend and I got there at around 6:30pm on Saturday, so it was just before it gets really busy. I was able to find a parking spot right outside the main entrance, and there were many other spots open.
The parking surface was smooth with no potholes or bad spots. Parking spaces are somewhat limited if it’s a busy night, but overall I would say they have around 50-60 spaces available. You can park all around the building, and they have several handicapped spaces right in front of the facility. The landscaping is in very good shape. The hedges are trimmed, the trees looked beautiful, and the flowers outside the entrance were taken care off. The mulch on the floor also added a very nice touch. Lighting on the outside is very good. It has huge lamp posts all around the plaza, which have a wide area of light. There are several lamps outside of Fridays, and 2 very bright lamps right at the entrance. I usually don’t have a problem with lighting outside of a restaurant, because I am a ‘strong’ male, but as far as a female should be concerned, I think the parking lot is lit enough all around, and they should feel safe walking around when they want to enter Fridays, or to leave. So I think overall it’s very safe.
As I mentioned earlier, they have around 4-5 handicapped spots right in front of the entrance. Along with that, there is also a ramp which a person in a wheel chair could take. It has a sidewalk, with a lower opening, and then back to a raised sidewalk, where you can roll through. There are two large doors which can both be opened to accommodate such wheelchairs. The entrance was very easy to find. It was the most lit area of the building, and because there were trees and such, you knew there the entrance was. My friend and I didn’t have to wait, but if we did, there were 2 benches available inside for patrons who are waiting, and enough standing room outside if we had to wait. They also have a buzzer system, in which you get a little device, which lights up and vibrates once your table is ready. Overall, I really like the location, and general look of this Friday’s restaurant. It’s very appealing, and the outside is very well lit, and looks beautiful with all the landscaping.
Fusian is quite a bit different than Fridays. First off, it’s located right across from UCF in the little plaza, so it’s in walking distance for students. It’s not that easy to find though. It is located on the far north side on the plaza, next to a small bar on one side, and another bigger building to the right of it which is another bar. It has a medium sized, lit up banner of its name, which displays “Fusian Japanese Eatery.” I went there with 7 other people, who have already been in the plaza before, but none have ever noticed this restaurant. I would say you could find this establishment Poorly to Fairly. It’s not quite inviting. It looks small from the outside, and has a small window next to the door. It has a menu on the door, and you can see curtains. Parking is good, since it’s a plaza, if you don’t mind walking you can park anywhere. The parking spots are available for any of the stores in the plaza, so you just try to find a spot closest to Fusian. We parked about 4 rows away from the entrance. Parking surface and quality were excellent.
There is really no landscaping to speak off. Since it’s just a bunch of window fronts and a parking lot, there isn’t much landscaping to be had. However, several small trees have been spread around in pots, which make it a little bit nicer. Lighting is fair to moderate poor. There are a few light pots in the parking lot, which aren’t very bright, and there are some lamps located above the store fronts. Fusian itself is dark outside, as well as inside. The big building that is connected to it is not lit up at all, which creates shadows in front of Fusian. As I mentioned before, I was comfortable walking there, but if I was a girl walking there in the dark, I would feel somewhat uncomfortable and would be alert for people walking around. It could definitely use more light to be more secure.
Handicapped spaces are located all over the parking lot, and some were in close proximity to the restaurant. I do believe that only 2 out of the 4 or 5 were available at 8:00pm when I went with my friends. I already knew where the restaurant was, but if I didn’t, I probably would have missed it and drove by it if I was looking for it. It’s pretty much hidden unless you know what you’re looking for. We went inside and were able to find a spot, but if we had to wait, there is no space inside. Fusian itself doesn’t offer any seating options outside for waiting, but if you wanted to sit, you could go next door to the bar, and sit outside at several small tables with 4 chairs each. Overall opinion on the outside is fair. It’s fairly dark outside, and could cause trouble with females once it’s dark outside. There are no options to sit if you have to wait, unless you go next door. It’s also hard to locate because of its location.
In this section I will describe the inside setting and such of both restaurants, first talking about T.G.I. Friday’s and then Fusian.
I have personally always liked Fridays, and it didn’t really matter if it wasn’t as clean as it could be. I think of it more as a grungy-bar type restaurant, than a formal sit down place. However, overall, it was very clean. The table that my friend and I sat was clean when we sat down, and the floor wasn’t overly dirty, although some small pieces of napkins and such were on the floor. So basically the cleanliness factor was good. I love the atmosphere of Fridays. It was glass windows on its wall cabinets, which display random artifacts, and lots of liquor bottles. It plays all kinds of music in the background, which isn’t loud or annoying at all. The chairs we sat in were pretty comfortable; however the booths with the cushions are much better. Temperature was also very comforting, id guess around 74-76, so it wasn’t warm, but it wasn’t cold either. Since my friend and I were there at 6:30 pm, we didn’t see too many people at the bar, and many tables were open. I know from earlier experiences that it can get pretty loud and rowdy once all the legal age college drinkers get to the bar.
I went to the bathroom before the meal, and I found it to be quite dirty. There was water, perhaps urine, on the floor by the urinal and in the stall. There were also pieces of toilet paper and paper towels on the floor. The mirror had been splashed with water, and there was water over the sink area. I love Fridays soap personally. It is the soap that comes out of the dispenser as foam, which there was plenty of. Restroom quality could have been a lot better, but I am not one to go into any restaurant to sit down to do my ‘business.’ The layout of the restaurant is very clear and well thought out. Once you enter, you can go straight to the bar, or you can choose to sit at tables with 4 chairs each, or you can go across the restaurant to go sit in a booth. As I mentioned before, you can pretty much see across the whole floor because of the glass windows in the cabinets, which are filled with random artifacts and liquor bottles.
The menu choices are incredible. You can eat anything from shrimp, to other fish, to steak, to burgers, to salads, so on and so on. You have a variety of appetizers or soups, side dishes, deserts and all kinds of drinks. Food could be smelled in the restaurant because the kitchen is open and doesn’t have doors; however, the smell was not strong. If anything, the smell was mostly neutral, and didn’t really smell like anything, so it didn’t bother me. The menu itself was about 5-6 pages in length, and included pictures next to some entrees, and described the ingredients, and properly displayed the prices, so you know exactly what you will be paying for whatever item you choose.
Sense of safety on the establishment was excellent. Every few minutes I saw a waiter walk by, and we sat close to the hostess, so if anything happened, she would have seen it. There were also many sitting around us, so I felt safe. However, I did not see one manager walking around and talking to people, so if anything did happen, I wouldn’t be so sure that a manager would arrive in a quick manner. I didn’t ask if there was more than one present, or how far away he or she was, but I am assuming he was in the back or something. Handicap accessibility in the establishment was good. The isles were wide enough for people in wheelchairs to go through, and enough room for them to sit at a table. I don’t think they could sit in a booth, unless they got out of their wheelchair and worked hard to get into the booth. Overall, the bathroom could have been a lot cleaner, because it just makes me think about how they take care of their kitchen if the bathroom looks like it did. I felt safe inside, the menu was excellent, and the seating and atmosphere were very good.
Going to Fusian on Friday was my fourth visit for the restaurant, meaning that I enjoy eating there. The atmosphere of the restaurant is amazing. It is very fitting towards the Japanese theme, and it is very relaxing and comfortable. At all the times I have gone, especially this time, everything was very clean, from the table, to the floor. There is no background noise, and the patrons and workers are really quiet. There are several seating options. You can sit with another person at a single table, you can sit at a table which seats up to 8 people, or you can sit in a booth (NAME) in which you sit on top of a pillow which is one the floor, and you sit right under the table with your feet. The temperate in this restaurant was also very comfortable, not too warm, but not cold.
I have never used the bathroom before, but decided to go and wash my hands. The bathroom itself was fairly small, with one toilet and a sink. It was very clean. There was nothing on the floor, and it looked like it had been taken care of. Can’t say that it could have been any cleaner. The layout is somewhat interesting. When you come in, there are two large tables to the right, and several small tables to the left. Right behind the two large tables it the bathroom. Across the room is the kitchen and Sushi prepare area. In that area, there is a walkway to the right, and if you walk that way, there is another room which is cut off from the restaurant opening, in which there are several tables to seat 5 people, and 2 tables to sit 8 people. In this part of the restaurant, there are also those BOOTHS in which you sit on the floor. So basically, if you haven’t been here before, you’d think that the room in which you first enter is all there is to the restaurant. You can’t see the whole restaurant in one view, but the layout is very well thought out, to accommodate different levels of privacy.
There are several ways you can order food. The server gives you a regular menu, which offers soups, salads, lunch and dinner combinations and appetizers. She also handed us a long sheet of paper, which had the names and ingredients along with the price of all the sushi that is available. There must have been at least 30-40 different sushi combinations available, all of which are freshly prepared once you order them. Prices are easily seen. You might think that a Sushi restaurant smells like fish, however, Fusian did not have any type of smell at all; it had a very neutral smell to it. Sense of safety inside was excellent. It’s a very small restaurant, and it’s somewhat crowded together, so if anything at all happened, the whole restaurant would know it. There were several servers walking around, so I felt safe.
The only people that I saw walking around were the hostess, several servers, and then two cooks which prepared the Sushi. I don’t think I have ever seen a manager walking around, so I can’t vouch for any ‘real’ authority figures. As far as handicap accessibility goes, I would say that someone in a wheel chair would have a severe problem. As I mentioned, the restaurant is very small and compacted together, so the isles are not very wide. Also, tables are close together and you sit very close to your neighbors. They could improve in this area, but I wouldn’t see how without rearranging the whole inside. Overall, I really enjoyed eating here. The place is dimply lit, except above the tables, which creates a very quiet and relaxing mood. If you really want to feel like you’re in Japan, you can sit down on pillows on the floor in the BOOTHS. Tables and chairs are comfortable, and it’s just a great little restaurant.