Florida's Scott Becker Wins Southeast Division Title of T.G.I. Friday's(R) World Bartender Championship

Proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America

DAVIE, Fla., Dec. 14 // PRNewswire // -- Scott Becker of the Orlando/I Drive, Florida T.G.I. Friday's® restaurant defeated other top Larger than Life mixologists from across the Southeast last night to advance to the finals of T.G.I. Friday's World Bartender Championship. All funds raised from the annual event benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"T.G.I. Friday's bartenders are the best in the business," said Southeast Division champion Becker. "I am honored to be part of this great Friday's tradition and look forward to competing against the best of the best at the World T.G.I. Friday's Bartending Championship in Las Vegas next February."

The divisional competition consisted of three segments -- compulsory, speed round and freestyle -- as well as a comprehensive skill test. The mixologists who competed in the Southeast Division competition are finalists from local, regional and super-regional competitions held earlier this fall.

Overall, more than 8,000 Friday's® bartenders from 58 countries are testing their knowledge and skills in their quest to reach the finals of the World Bartender Championship, where the title of "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World" will be decided in Las Vegas on February 25, 2008.

The competition, which represents Friday's heritage, knowledge, expertise and innovation in the beverage industry, began back in the late 80s as a challenge between bartenders and has grown into a full representation of the Friday's brand, one of the most recognized brands in the world. Friday's originated the now-famous, trend-setting, bottle-tossing "flair" style of bartending and its long history of innovation includes popularizing the term "Happy Hour."

There are 907 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in 58 countries. To find a Friday's location, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of T.G.I. Friday's Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of December 2007, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 58 countries. For more information, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

SOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's


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