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,
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
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
* 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
* 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
-- 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/