T.G.I. Friday's(R) Reaches International Milestones

The leading casual dining restaurant celebrates 350th international restaurant opening and 25 years of international presence

CARROLLTON, Texas, March 2, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- T.G.I. Friday's announced it is now serving the "Friday feeling" in 350 international locations. The newest Friday's® restaurant opened in January 2011 in Arequipa, Peru by Franquicias Alimentarias SA, a licensed franchisee of T.G.I. Friday's.

The first T.G.I. Friday's opened outside the U.S. in Birmingham, England in March 1986. Twenty-five years later, Friday's now delights well over 40 million international guests annually in 60 countries, providing them with authentic American food, exciting drinks and an energizing Friday feeling – any day of the week. The brand also has the most American casual dining restaurants around the globe.

"Friday's was the first American casual dining company to open its doors abroad and by reaching these two significant milestones, it's clear we remain the industry leader," said Ian Saunders, president and chief operating officer, T.G.I. Friday's International. "Friday's promises that wherever you are in the world, "In Here, It's Always Friday." Thanks to the strength of our brand and franchise partnerships, Friday's always delivers on this promise."

Friday's Ambition 2015 strategy is to add at least 150 new international locations to its portfolio by 2015, increasing the number of Friday's locations to nearly 1,100. The latest opening in Peru brings the company one step closer to this goal.

Friday's also took several steps in 2010 to reach its Ambition 2015 objectives such as opening 30 new international locations and signing six additional development agreements to increase its international presence, including the most recent agreement with Americana Group (Kuwait Food Company) to add 30 new restaurants in the Middle East over the next five years.

About T.G.I. Friday's

T.G.I. Friday's restaurants offer authentic American food and exciting drinks in an atmosphere that provides an energizing Friday feeling – any day of the week. Friday's® guest recognition program, Give Me More Stripes®, rewards our loyal guests with great deals and fun events year-round, creating an engaging customer experience. As the original casual dining restaurant, T.G.I. Friday's differentiates itself with a unique point of view which promises to exhilarate its guests with the feeling of Friday. T.G.I. Friday's, which operates more than 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries, is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, approximately 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World." For more information, visit www.fridays.com.

About Carlson

Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people. www.carlson.com

SOURCE Carlson Restaurants Worldwide

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