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T.G.I. Friday's(R) Restaurants Celebrate 40th Birthday

Date : 03/14/2005 @ 6:56PM
Source : PR Newswire (US)

T.G.I. Friday's(R) Restaurants Celebrate 40th Birthday

T.G.I. Friday's(R) Restaurants Celebrate 40th Birthday Restaurants in 54 Countries, from New York City to Tianjin, China Hold Toast Around the World to Commemorate Milestone CARROLLTON, Texas, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- T.G.I. Friday's restaurants, a pioneer in American casual dining, officially celebrates its 40th birthday on Friday, March 18, 2005. The legendary restaurant brand marks its 40th year in business with a series of national and international events. Starting at 5:30 p.m. locally at 756 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in 54 countries around the world, staff and guests will lift their glasses to toast 40 years of success. The 'Toast Around the World' was selected from an internal toast competition among T.G.I. Friday's employees around the world. The winning toast was written by David Sourk, the general manager of the Saint Charles, Missouri T.G.I. Friday's restaurant, and will be unveiled internationally during the birthday celebration. The March 18 toast will mark the beginning of a new tradition at Friday's(R) restaurants. Following the birthday celebration, the tradition continues every Friday at 5:30 p.m. with a member of the staff at each Friday's restaurant worldwide giving the commemorative toast. "Friday's has always had a legacy of fun," says Carlson Restaurants Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Snead. "The toast around the world creates unity amongst our restaurants worldwide and is an excellent way to celebrate our first four decades of fun." Complementing the worldwide toast, local Friday's restaurants will host a birthday bash for their guests. "Hitting 40 is a landmark occasion," says Snead. "We are throwing a party -- birthday cake, balloons, party favors -- the whole thing. The party is for everyone -- current and former team members, managers, long time guests and anyone who wants to join the fun." Although the party will be held around the world on March 18, Snead and Friday's executives will kick off the 'Toast Around the World' and launch the 40th birthday festivities from the Addison, Texas restaurant. To find a restaurant location, visit http://www.fridays.com/. To add to the festivities, Friday's restaurants will also introduce a new line of beverages. Credited with inventing the popular Long Island Iced Tea, the Friday's brand tips its hat to its 40-year heritage of cocktail and beverage innovation with the introduction of Sparkling Iced Teas. Available for a limited time, the beverage line includes The Long Island Iced Tea, Long Beach Iced Tea, Caribbean Iced Tea and Texas Iced Tea, all of which are topped off with Korbel sparkling wine. As part of the 40th birthday celebration, T.G.I. Friday's restaurant is bringing back a few of their infamous 'buttons' for a limited time. "People have been talking about Friday's buttons for 40 years. We know the buttons will bring back a lot of great memories for guests," says Mike Archer, executive vice president and chief operating officer, T.G.I. Friday's U.S.A. "Who could resist asking someone wearing a 'Spuds Were Never The Same Again After '74' button, 'what does that mean?' This type of trivia is an engaging way to educate guests and team members about Friday's unique culture." The button trivia features fun facts about how the Friday's brand has changed the face of casual American dining over the past 40 years. For example, Friday's invented Loaded Potato Skins, is credited with naming 'happy hour,' and popularized frozen and ice cream drinks, all of which are now staples within the industry. To further celebrate their 40th birthday with staff, the restaurant is set to launch '40 Days of Friday's Fun' from March 18, 2005 through April 26, 2005. A major feature of this internal promotion is a system-wide team member game of F-R-I-D-A-Y-S Birthday Bingo, which tests employee knowledge about Friday's history and menu, their skills at sales and speed-of-service, and their familiarity with the restaurant's recipes. For 40 consecutive days, Bingo participants can win daily and weekly prizes. In 1965, Alan Stillman opened the first T.G.I. Friday's restaurant to create a meeting place for young professional singles. The restaurant was located in New York City, on the corner of First Avenue and 63rd Street, and experienced instant success. Over the past 40 years, Friday's restaurants have played a vital role in popularizing the casual dining experience, ultimately making it an icon within the restaurant industry. In 2003, the Friday's brand demonstrated that it continues to be in touch with what diners are looking for when it was the first national restaurant chain to partner with the Atkins Nutritional Approach(R) to offer low carb menu items. Friday's restaurants are currently in the middle of a major brand revitalization totaling more than $200 million for remodeling and millions more in menu development, training, and a manager-retention program, making it the largest capital investment in Carlson Companies' history. With 250 company owned U.S. restaurants already in the midst of the update, the Friday's brand celebrates its 40th year with a decidedly younger new look, and an experienced eye on the future. Note to Editor: Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of T.G.I. Friday's Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies, Inc., a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of today, Carlson Restaurants operate, franchise and license 756 restaurants in 54 countries, including T.G.I. Friday's(R), Friday's(R) Front Row(R) Sports Grill and Friday's American Bar(R). Carlson Restaurants Worldwide is a division of Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies. For more information on Friday's brands, visit http://www.fridays.com/. T.G.I. Friday's(R) Forty Years of Fun Facts * In 1965, Alan Stillman founded the first Friday's(R) restaurant in New York City to meet single women. * According to Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post, the opening of the first Friday's(R) restaurant heralded the dawn of the singles age. * Friday's(R) restaurants have been the employer of several well-known celebrities -- Kathy Mattea, Sean Patrick Flannery of "Young Indiana Jones" and Brad Garrett of "Everybody Loves Raymond." * Friday's(R) restaurants have a long history of innovation, including being credited with: -- Naming 'happy hour'. -- Inventing the Long Island Iced Tea and Loaded Potato Skins. -- Popularizing frozen and ice cream drinks. -- Pioneering non-alcoholic Smoothies and Flings in honor of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. * Friday's(R) restaurant is synonymous with 'flair bartending.' In the mid 1980s, the restaurant created the first World Bartender Championships to honor the famous, trend-setting, bottle-tossing style of Friday's(R) bartenders around the globe. This tradition continues today! * From roller skating to singing to buttons and suspenders to showing off our 'flair,' Friday's(R) employees are legendary for providing the best America has to offer in service and atmosphere. * Friday's(R) red and white stripes are one of the most recognized restaurant trademarks in the world, next to the Golden Arches. * The Friday's(R) brand was the first casual dining restaurant chain to offer stone-ground whole wheat bread, avocados, bean sprouts and Mexican appetizers. * In 2003, Friday's(R) restaurant was the first national casual dining restaurant chain to partner with Atkins Nutritional Approach(R) to offer low carb menu items. * In the past 40 years Friday's(R) restaurants have: -- Served approximately 185,380,000 guests in more than 700 restaurants in 54 countries. -- Served 19,800,000 hamburgers in an amazing number of guest-specified combinations ... which is also equal to over 9,900,000 pounds of burger. -- Went through 69,522,520 pounds of french-fried potatoes, 8,634,436 pounds of chicken wings, 454,784 dozen eggs and 114,207,632 ounces of ketchup. -- Served enough Oreo(R) Madness desserts to equal the height of 174 Sears towers. DATASOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's CONTACT: Wendy Aiello or Robin Lybarger, both of Aiello Public Relations and Marketing, +1-303-355-3838, for T.G.I. Friday's Web site: http://www.fridays.com/

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