'Greatest T.G.I. Friday's(R) Bartender in the World' Crowned in Las Vegas

Tony Adams Emerges From Field of over 8,000 Bartenders to Capture Title at Friday's® World Bartender Championship in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 26 // PRNewswire // -- Tony Adams, a 25-year-old bartender from the Haymarket T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in London was crowned "The Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World" at The Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last night, following an intense finals competition between eight elite mixologists from around the globe. Brian Zachau from Minneapolis was honored for the fourth straight year as the US Champion.

"This is an unbelievable feeling," said Adams. "My day has arrived."

Nearly 8,000 Friday's bartenders from 60 countries entered this year's World Bartender Championship. The eight finalists exhibited their knowledge and showed off their flair through months of local, regional, super-regional, divisional and national competitions to reach last night's finals.

"Our bartenders have defined the T.G.I. Friday's brand for 43 years and tonight's performance showed that Friday's continues to have the greatest mixologists in the world," said Richard Snead, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I. Friday's. "They entertain our guests around the globe with their great personalities and their ability to demonstrate precise and accurate mixology." The finalists competed throughout the weekend in a variety of skills tests, compulsory and speed rounds, where they demonstrated their mastery of bar mechanics, including technical knowledge and accuracy.

Monday night's freestyle segment, where the competitors showed off their flair techniques of tossing, balancing, mixing cocktails and flipping bottles in the air, brought the capacity crowd of close to 1,500 to its feet with applause time after time.

Adams received a $10,000 cash prize, bragging rights and a place in Friday's lore as well as a propeller engraved with his name to hang above his home Friday's bar. The propeller is a Friday's icon which signifies the bar as the engine that drives the restaurant's energy and atmosphere. Propellers hang above the bars in all 916 T.G.I. Friday's locations worldwide.

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 Friday's brand, one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Originators of the now-famous, trend-setting, bottle tossing "flair" style of bartending, T.G.I. Friday's bartenders are world renowned for their accuracy and precision, their larger than life personalities and their award-winning ability to entertain guests around the world.

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 February 2008, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries. For more information, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

SOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's Inc.

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