Nine T.G.I. Friday's® Bartenders Vie for Title of 'Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World'

CARROLLTON, Texas, April 8 // PRNewswire // --

WHO: Nine T.G.I. Friday's restaurants Larger than Life mixologists (bartenders) from around the globe will compete on Friday, April 17 for the title of "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World." The Friday's® World Bartender Championship ( features competitors who excel in showmanship while serving up responsible fun, innovative drinks and provide legendary service to their guests in 60 countries. They include:

  • Johnny Campbell, US Briad Franchise Division Champion (Riverside, CA)
  • Steve Gill, US Northeast Division Champion (Pottstown, PA)
  • Keisuke Goto, Asia Pacific Champion (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Greg Grafal, US Southeast Division Champion (West Kissimmee, FL)
  • Oivind Haugland, Europe Champion (Bergen, Norway)
  • Matt Lester, US Central Division Champion (Mishawaka, IN)
  • Vinny Read, UK Champion (London, UK)
  • Kenjiro Yanagui, Latin America Champion (Lima, Peru)
  • Brian Zachau, 4-time Defending US Champion, US West Division Champion (Maple Grove, MN)

WHEN: Friday, April 17, 2009 3:30 p.m. local (Central) time

WHERE: T.G.I. Friday's World Headquarters 4201 Marsh Lane Carrollton, Texas 75007

NOTE: The T.G.I. Friday's World Bartender Championship is NOT open to the public. Only credentialed media will be granted access to the event. TV crews should plan to arrive early for optimum filming space.

WHY: To determine T.G.I. Friday's® Greatest Bartender in the World!

WHAT: Nearly 8,000 Friday's bartenders from 60 countries entered this year's World Bartender Championship. The championship consists of three segments - compulsory, speed round and freestyle - as well as a comprehensive skill test.

The must-see media event 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, 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.


EVENT WEB SITE: Friday's maintains an event site for the World Bartender Championship: The site contains information about the annual competition, profiles on all finalists including individual image galleries, a video recap of the previous championship, news releases about the championship, information on charities, the history of T.G.I. Friday's restaurants and media contact information.

INTERVIEWS/ON-AIR APPEARANCES: The finalists are available for interviews prior to the event. The World Champion and US Champion will be available for interviews and on-air appearances immediately following the event. For interview and/or on-air appearance consideration, please call Tom Beyer, 480-722-1461 or email

TEXT/IMAGES: A winner's announcement will be sent to media via PR Newswire Monday (4/20). Images from T.G.I. Friday's World Bartender Championship will be available immediately following the competition and can also be requested in advance by emailing

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 April 2009, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries.

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



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