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T.G.I. Friday's
Type Wholly owned subsidiary
Founded 1965
Headquarters Carrollton, Texas, U.S.
Industry Restaurants
Parent Carlson Companies
Website www.fridays.com

T.G.I. Friday's (often shortened to "Friday's" in most countries, or "T.G.I.'s" in the United Kingdom) is an American restaurant chain focusing on casual dining, with over 1000 restaurants in over 50 countries. The company is a unit of the Carlson Companies. Its name is taken from the expression TGIF. The company asserts that it stands for "Thank Goodness It's Friday," although as of 2010 some television commercials for the chain have also made use of the alternative phrase, "Thank God It's Friday." [1] The chain is known for its appearance, with red-striped canopies, brass railings, Tiffany lamps and frequent use of antiques as decor.

Contents

History

A TGI Friday's in Manahawkin, New Jersey that opened in 2003 and uses the new design

The Friday's restaurant chain was founded in 1965 in New York City, featuring standard American cuisine, bar food and alcoholic beverages. The restaurant was located at the corner of 63rd Street and First Avenue. The exterior featured a red-and-white striped awning and blue paint, and the interior included wooden floors, Bentwood chairs, striped tablecloths; the bar area added brass rails and stained glass. The employees were young and wore wacky uniforms, and every time someone had a birthday, the entire restaurant crew came around with a cake and sang Friday's traditional birthday song. The location is now a British pub called "Baker Street"; the brass rails are still there.

Their second location was established in 1970 in Memphis, Tennessee's Overton Square district; that location has since closed. The oldest continually operating Friday's is in Louisville, Kentucky on Linn Station Road. It opened in August 1977 and at the time was the 31st store in operation.

Friday's has also been used as a restaurant for hotels run by Country Inns & Suites by Carlson brand. The largest Friday's franchisee is The Briad Group with about 70 locations in the United States.[2] A noteable international franchisee was Whitbread PLC, the owner of TGI Friday's UK. Up until 2007, it had 45 locations in the UK. On January 17, 2007, Whitbread sold operating rights of all 45 restaurants back to TGI Friday's UK Limited (a consortium consisting of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. and ABN Amro Capital) thus exiting a partnership formed in 1986.[3]

Historically, the chain's highest grossing location is at Haymarket Leicester Square, which opened in 1992 in Central London. The Haymarket branch is also regarded as the 'most popular' branch as well as being financially most successful. In October 2009, Haymarket broke the world record for biggest profit made in any week, throughout T.G.I Friday's history, and has also been home to several past winners from the bartenders competition.[4]

Design

TGI Friday's in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

The newer T.G.I. Friday's franchises (as well as redesigned restaurants) are more contemporary, with wallpaper, granite exteriors, and red-and-white striped lamps instead of Tiffany. This design was found by young American boy, Walker Willet. The exteriors have stucco, the entrance doors have "F" shaped handles, and a metal cup above the door has a stripe saying "In Here, It's always Friday". Most Friday's have a propeller and a rowing scull on display as part of their antiques, which are actually a part of a story told to all Friday's employees; the scull always contains a pair of saddle shoes and a bottle of champagne to remind employees of the value of teamwork, leadership, and celebrating success

Menu

Friday's has a large menu with an emphasis on alcoholic beverages which includes their famous "Crazy Night Cocktail". "Ultimates" drinks are served in an 18 oz. (532 ml) glass, and often made with top shelf and darker liquors. A section of the menu is dedicated to the "Jack Daniel's Grill", a selection of items with a special Jack Daniel's-branded barbecue sauce.

The restaurant in the Taft Hotel in Times Square in New York City claims to be the largest in the United States

T.G.I. Friday's formerly served Atkins approved appetizers, entrées, and desserts. In 2006, the Atkins name was removed from the menu, but the restaurant continues to offer both low carbohydrate and low fat menu items.

Licensed products

The company licenses its name to Heinz which produces a line of frozen foods sold in grocery stores. A line of snack items and pre-mixed liquor drinks are also licensed and sold.

References

External links








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