Minnesota's Brian Zachau Wins West Division Title of T.G.I. Friday's(R) World Bartender Championship

Proceeds to Make-A-Wish Foundation® Of America

Dallas, // PRNewswire // -- Brian Zachau of the Maple Grove, Minnesota's T.G.I. Friday's restaurant defeated other top Larger than Life mixologists from across the west last night to advance to the finals of T.G.I. Friday's® World Bartender Championship. Zachau, the four-time defending U.S. champion, will be making his sixth straight trip to the finals where he will face eight other finalists from around the globe for the title of "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World." All funds raised from the annual event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"T.G.I. Friday's has the world's greatest bartenders," said West Division champion Zachau. "I am honored to be part of this great Friday's tradition and I am looking forward to competing against the best bartenders in the world at the World Bartender Championship next year."

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 West Division competition are finalists from local, regional and super-regional competitions held earlier this fall.

Overall, more than 8,000 Friday's® bartenders from 61 countries are testing their knowledge and skills in their quest to reach the finals of the World Bartender Championship.

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 923 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in 61 countries. To find a Friday's location, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

Images From The West Division Championship Are Available By Contacting Dfpr, Tom@Dfpr.Com, 480-722-1461

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 October 2008, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 61 countries. For more information, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

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

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