T.G.I. Friday's
T.G.I. Friday's
is an American restaurant chain focusing on casual dining
Casual dining
This is a list of casual dining restaurant chains around the world, arranged in alphabetical order. A casual dining restaurant is a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere...

. The company is a unit of the Carlson Companies
Carlson Companies
Carlson is a privately held international corporation in the hotel, restaurant, and travel industries. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, Carlson brands and services, including franchised operations, employ more than 170,000 people in more than 150 countries and territories...

. Its name is taken from the expression TGIF
TGIF is an initialism for the phrase "Thank God It's Friday", celebrating the last day of the work/school week before the weekend. Its origin dates to the 1960s. It was first popularized by the restaurant T.G.I. Friday's which was founded in 1965. However, it became mainstream by the late 1970s,...

. 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's." The chain is known for its appearance, with red-striped canopies
Canopy (building)
A canopy is an overhead roof or else a structure over which a fabric or metal covering is attached, able to provide shade or shelter. A canopy can also be a tent, generally without a floor....

, brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 railings, Tiffany lamp
Tiffany lamp
A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with many different types of glass shade. The most famous was the stained leaded glass lamp. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement.- History :...

s and frequent use of antiques
An antique is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age , beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features...

 as decor.


The Friday's restaurant chain was founded by Alan Stillman in 1965. The bachelor perfume salesman lived in a neighborhood with many airline stewardesses, fashion models, secretaries, and other single people on the East Side of Manhattan near the Queensboro Bridge
Queensboro Bridge
The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge – because its Manhattan end is located between 59th and 60th Streets – or simply the Queensboro Bridge, is a cantilever bridge over the East River in New York City that was completed in 1909...

, and hoped that opening a bar would help him meet women. At the time, Stillman's choices for socializing were non-public cocktail parties, or "guys' beer-drinking hangout" bars that women usually did not visit; he recalled that "there was no public place for people between, say, twenty-three to thirty-seven years old, to meet." He sought to recreate the comfortable cocktail-party atmosphere in public despite having no experience in the restaurant business.

With $5,000 of his own money and $5,000 borrowed from his mother, Stillman purchased a bar he often visited, The Good Tavern at the corner of 63rd Street and First Avenue
First Avenue (Manhattan)
First Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from Houston Street northbound for over 125 blocks before terminating at the Willis Avenue Bridge into The Bronx at the Harlem River near East 127th Street. South of Houston Street, the...

, and renamed it T.G.I. Friday's after the expression "Thank God! It's Friday!" from his years at Bucknell University
Bucknell University
Bucknell University is a private liberal arts university located alongside the West Branch Susquehanna River in the rolling countryside of Central Pennsylvania in the town of Lewisburg, 30 miles southeast of Williamsport and 60 miles north of Harrisburg. The university consists of the College of...

. The new restaurant, which opened on March 15, 1965, served standard American cuisine
Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from the United States of America. European colonization of the Americas yielded the introduction of a number of ingredients and cooking styles to the latter...

, bar food, and alcoholic beverages, but emphasized food quality and preparation. The exterior featured a red-and-white striped awning and blue paint, the Gay Nineties
Gay Nineties
Gay Nineties is an American nostalgic term that refers to the decade of the 1890s. It is known in the UK as the Naughty Nineties, and refers there to the decade of supposedly decadent art by Aubrey Beardsley, the witty plays and trial of Oscar Wilde, society scandals and the beginning of the...

 interior included fake Tiffany lamp
Tiffany lamp
A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with many different types of glass shade. The most famous was the stained leaded glass lamp. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement.- History :...

s, wooden floors, Bentwood
Bentwood is a term used to describe furniture made by steaming wood, bending it, and letting it harden into curved shapes and patterns, and is most often used in the production of rocking chairs, cafe chairs, and other light furniture. The iconic No...

 chairs, and striped tablecloths, and the bar area added brass rails and stained glass. The employees were young and wore red-and-white striped soccer shirts, and every time someone had a birthday, the entire restaurant crew came around with a cake and sang Friday's traditional birthday song. The first location closed in 1994, and is a British pub called "Baker Street"; the brass rails are still there.

Although Malachy McCourt
Malachy McCourt
Malachy Gerard McCourt is an Irish-American actor, writer and politician. He was the 2006 Green Party candidate for governor in New York State, losing to the Democratic candidate Eliot Spitzer. He is the younger brother of Frank McCourt.-Personal life:Born in Brooklyn, New York, McCourt was raised...

's nearby eponymous bar preceded T.G.I. Friday's and Stillman credited the media for creating the term, he had unintentionally created one of the first singles bar
Singles Bar
Singles Bar is a 1983 studio album from Swedish country and pop singer Kikki Danielsson. On the album charts, "Singles Bar" as best finished 13th in Norway and 35th in Sweden.In July 2009 the album was digitally released to iTunes.-Side A:-Side B:...

s. It benefited from the near-simultaneous availability of the birth-control pill and Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan was an American writer, activist, and feminist.A leading figure in the Women's Movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the "second wave" of American feminism in the twentieth century...

's book The Feminine Mystique
The Feminine Mystique
The Feminine Mystique, published February 19, 1963, by W.W. Norton and Co., is a nonfiction book written by Betty Friedan. It is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States....

T.G.I. Friday's was one of the first to use promotions such as ladies' night
Ladies' night
A ladies' night is a promotional event, often at a bar or nightclub, where female patrons pay less than male patrons for the cover charge or drinks. State courts in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have ruled that ladies' night discounts are unlawful gender discrimination under...

, and Stillman achieved his hopes of meeting women; "Have you seen the movie Cocktail? Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

 played me!...Why do girls want to date the bartender? To this day, I’m not sure that I get it." He and the restaurant benefited from its location—according to Stillman, 480 stewardesses lived in the apartment building next door—and received publicity in national magazines. T.G.I. Friday's became so popular that it had to install ropes to create an area for those waiting in line, also unusual at the time for a restaurant. A competitor, Maxwell's Plum
Maxwell's Plum
Maxwell's Plum was a "flamboyant restaurant and singles bar that, more than any place of its kind, symbolized two social revolutions of the 1960s – sex and food" at 64th and 1st Avenue in Manhattan...

, opened across the street, and others soon followed.

With fellow Bucknell graduate Ben Benson, Stillman opened other restaurants, including Thursday's, Wednesday's, Tuesday's, and Ice Cream Sunday's. Franchising
Franchising is the practice of using another firm's successful business model. The word 'franchise' is of anglo-French derivation - from franc- meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a verb....

 of T.G.I. Friday's began in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

in the Overton Square district; that location has since closed. As new locations opened in the suburbs parents brought their children, and the chain changed its focus to casual dining
Casual dining
This is a list of casual dining restaurant chains around the world, arranged in alphabetical order. A casual dining restaurant is a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere...

 for families. Stillman sold the restaurant chain in the 1970s to the Carlson Companies
Carlson Companies
Carlson is a privately held international corporation in the hotel, restaurant, and travel industries. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, Carlson brands and services, including franchised operations, employ more than 170,000 people in more than 150 countries and territories...

—although he kept the original location—and, now married, founded Smith & Wollensky in 1977 with Benson.

The oldest continually operating Friday's was in Louisville, Kentucky on Linn Station Road. It opened in August 1977 and at the time was the 31st store in operation. However, this location has been closed and shuttered as of May, 2011 without explanation. By the early 1980s the chain had grown to 100 stores and issued an Initial Public Offering
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

 in 1983, but faced growing competition and declining sales in the mid-1980s. After T.G.I. Friday's financial performance improved, the company became privately held again in 1989.

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
The Briad Group
The Briad Group is a hospitality company based in Livingston, New Jersey with over 100 franchise locations in the United State under the brands T.G.I. Friday's, Wendy's, Marriott, and Hilton. The company is the #1 operator of T.G.I...

 with about 70 locations in the United States. A notable international franchisee was Whitbread
Whitbread PLC is a global hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company headquartered in Dunstable, United Kingdom. Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with around 580 hotels and over 40,000 rooms. Its Costa Coffee chain has around 1,600 stores across 25...

 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
ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a Dutch state-owned bank with headquarters in Amsterdam. It was re-established, in its current form, in 2009 following the acquisition and break up of ABN AMRO Group by a banking consortium consisting of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander and Fortis...

) thus exiting a partnership formed in 1986.

A brand extension
Brand extension
Brand extension or brand stretching is a marketing strategy in which a firm marketing a product with a well-developed image uses the same brand name in a different product category. The new product is called a spin-off. Organizations use this strategy to increase and leverage brand equity...

, which features the Friday's concept combined with the atmosphere of a sports bar and is called Friday's Front Row Sports Grill, is found at three Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 stadiums which each overlook the playing field; Chase Field
Chase Field
Chase Field is a baseball stadium located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona and is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. It opened in , just in time for the Diamondbacks' first game as an expansion team...

 in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, Milwaukee's Miller Park, and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas within the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census results, the city had a population of 365,438, making it the third largest municipality in the Metroplex...

, along with a stand-alone restaurant in Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...


Historically, the chain's highest grossing location is at Haymarket Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

, 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.


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. 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
A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. A pressure difference is produced between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blade, and a fluid is accelerated behind the blade. Propeller dynamics can be modeled by both Bernoulli's...

 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.


Friday's has a large menu with an emphasis on alcoholic beverage
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

s which includes their famous "Ultimate" drinks which are served in an 18 oz. (532 mL) glass, and often made with top shelf and darker liquors. They also focus on a variety of blended drinks that are signature to the Friday's name, such as the "Tropicolada" and the "Friday's Freeze".
A section of the menu is dedicated to the "Jack Daniel's Grill", a selection of items with a special Jack Daniel's
Jack Daniel's
Jack Daniel's is a brand of sour mash Tennessee whiskey that is among the world's best-selling liquors. It is known for its square bottles and black label. As of November, 2007, one blogger was claiming that it was the best-selling whiskey in the world. It is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee by...

-branded sauce
In cooking, a sauce is liquid, creaming or semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish. Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin salsus, meaning salted...


T.G.I. Friday's formerly served Atkins
Atkins Nutritional Approach
The Atkins diet, officially called the Atkins Nutritional Approach, is a low-carbohydrate diet created by Robert Atkins from a research paper he read in the Journal of the American Medical Association published by Gordon Azar and Walter Lyons Bloom. Atkins stated that he used the study to resolve...

 approved appetizers, entrées, and desserts. In 2006, the Atkins name was removed from the menu, but the restaurant continues to offer both low carbohydrate
Low-carbohydrate diet
Low-carbohydrate diets or low-carb diets are dietary programs that restrict carbohydrate consumption usually for weight control or for the treatment of obesity. Foods high in digestible carbohydrates are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of proteins and fats...

 and low fat menu items.

Licensed products

The company licenses its name to Heinz
H. J. Heinz Company
The H. J. Heinz Company , commonly known as Heinz and famous for its "57 Varieties" slogan and its ketchup, is an American food company with world headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Perhaps best known for its ketchup, the H.J...

 which produces a line of frozen foods sold in grocery stores. A line of snack items
Potato chip
Potato chips are thin slices of potato that are deep fried...

and pre-mixed liquor drinks are also licensed and sold. The franchise’s exteriors were redesigned in 2009 by Gilfillan Callahan Architects, represented by Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.