T.G.I. Friday's® is credited for modernizing and popularizing flair bartending in the United States beginning in the mid 1980s. London and Orlando were the hotbeds of flair bartending in the early and mid 1990s.
The earliest known competition for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday's® in Marina del Rey, California around 1985. Management noticed bartender John Mescall's talent for juggling bottles while pouring drinks and decided to hold an in-store competition, which they later took national.
Mescall was a bit hesitant, because other Friday's bartenders saw his art more of a nuisance when they were forced by management to flair as well. He made a couple of "how-to" videos for T.G.I. Friday's® and later worked with John J.B. Bandy in what was probably the first ever flairtending video, "Olympic Bartending". The earliest world championship for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday's® in 1987 for their bartenders, and was won by John J.B. Bandy.
In 1991, T.G.I. Friday's® started its global competition called World Bartender Championship. The global competition has continued today with divisional champions from Midwest, Northeast, Texas/Colorado, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Central, West, Briad Franchise, Latin America, and European Divisions.
T.G.I. Friday’s® World Bartender Championship Past Winners:
|Hiroyuki “Mark” Yamada||2012|
|Kwang Ho Kim||2003|
|Randy Erickson & Mark Elphicke||1991|
The World Bartender Championship represents Friday's®; longstanding heritage, knowledge, expertise and innovation in the beverage industry. The competition began back in the late 80s as a challenge between bartenders and has grown into a full representation of the T.G.I. Friday’s® brand, a leader in the casual dining industry and one of the most recognized brands in the world.Beginning in August, local competitions are held throughout the world to determine the best bartender at each restaurant. Local winners advance to regional and then division competitions for a chance to compete in the ultimate event - T.G.I. Friday's World Bartender Championship.Most competitions are open to the public. The 2012 competitions are happening now - join the fun and find a competition in your area.
In March 2013, the new champion, Hiroyuki “Mark” Yamada of Tokyo, Japan was named the World’s Greatest Bartender and joined the ranks of 2012 champ David Kringlund, 2010 champ Attila Farmasi and 2009 champ Brian Zachau. After besting 9 other finalist hopefuls, Yamada was crowned and awarded the prize of $10,000.
T.G.I. Friday’s® ... Who We AreOn March 15, 1965, casual dining got a serious kick start. That’s when a fun-loving New Yorker named Alan Stillman purchased a bar located on 1st Avenue and 63rd Street and named it T.G.I. Friday’s ... Thank God It’s Friday’s. Okay, so his main goal was to meet stewardesses, but what he didn’t know at the time was that he was going to create what is now referred to as the casual dining industry.
From that moment on, lunch, dinner and drinks took on a whole new meaning. His restaurant quickly turned into the place to be for a helluva good time on any day, but especially on Friday’s.
The first T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant was an overnight sensation. What began as the ultimate “singles" bar became a destination synonymous with FUN for couples, co-workers and buddies. Friday’s was different and it became THE place to see and be seen.
Stillman’s ideas fashioned the legacy that exists in all Friday’s restaurants to this day. The décor, music, lights and staff continue to provide a lively, eclectic and engaging atmosphere. (Just the thing to scare off wallflowers and still-lifes.) It’s the perfect place for celebrating virtually anything among super-social butterflies.
So come in, catch the big game over beers, mingle, gossip with the girls, connect with friends or make new ones, all while enjoying fantastic food you can’t find anywhere else, like our signature Jack Daniel’s Grill®.
Today, T.G.I. Friday’s offers a casual dining experience unlike any other, where you can expect great food, drinks and plenty of fun to go around at more than 900 locations in more than 60 countries. Just don’t expect a dull moment at any of them.
The trademark JACK DANIEL'S is used under license to TGI Friday's Inc.
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