T.G.I. Friday's(R) Bartenders Train for Global Showdown
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T.G.I. Friday's(R) Bartenders Train for Global Showdown

Annual World Bartender Championship celebrates 21st birthday, recognizes best-of-the-best mixologists worldwide.

CARROLLTON, Texas, Jan. 11, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Countless hours spent perfecting cocktail recipes and working on bottle-wielding skills is about to pay off for nine T.G.I. Friday's® bartenders. On February 26, 2012, Friday's will host its 21st annual World Bartender Championship (WBC), a premier bartending competition where these nine finalists, who took home top divisional titles around the world, will face off for one final battle in Dallas.

The World Bartender Championship, which started as a one-off challenge between two bartenders and today welcomes more than 8,000 bartenders around the world in a premier competition widely acknowledged among bartenders as the toughest international bartending competition, selected these global finalists based on their knowledge of the bar, the flavor of their drinks and their 'flairtending' skills. From Orlando, Fla. to Malaysia to the UK, these nine finalists embody the energetic Friday's Feeling every day of the week and represent the rich history of the Friday's bar. In addition, this year, the fans and wannabe mixologists can get into the WBC action with a cocktail recipe contest, Favorite Bartender voting and 21st Birthday Celebrations with finalists across the U.S.

"Friday's is shaking this up this year by celebrating the WBC with the bartender, the fans and the home mixologist," said Shannon Gewinner, vice president, brand marketing for T.G.I. Friday's. "The competition is an amazing display of showmanship by our bartenders around the world, but the fans and home-mixologists play a huge role in driving energy and excitement behind every move. With program elements taking place at the bar and online, we're celebrating the WBC's 21st year by toasting both our bartenders and our guests."

As a special toast to the competition's coming of legal drinking age in the U.S., Friday's is hosting 21st WBC Birthday celebrations in the hometowns of each divisional U.S. winner. The parties will not only recognize the finalists, but will get the local Friday's fans pumped for this year's final bartender showdown.

Favorite Bartender Contest

Friday's is inviting all finalists' fans from around the globe to join in the fun through the Favorite Bartender online contest. Friends, family and fans of the finalists can show their support by voting for their favorite bartender on the World Bartender Championship site from January 11, 2012 – February 22, 2012. The bartender who generates the most votes will be announced at the finals and given a "Fan Favorite" title and a cash prize to commemorate the year of the competition.

Cocktail Recipe Contest

Fans and future mixologists can also get in on the prize winning. From January 3, 2012 through February 26, 2012, Friday's is 'shaking it up' by calling on people who mix a mean drink to submit their cocktail recipes online. Whether taking a new twist on the Friday's created Long Island Iced Tea or serving up a whole new brew, consumers can enter a video, photo or even just the list of ingredients for a chance to win a cash grand prize, as well as second and third prize Friday's gift cards. For full rules and regulations and prize information, visit http://www.worldbtc.com/contests/WBC_Cocktail_Contest_Rules_and_Regs.pdf.

The nine global finalists are:

  • Santiago Emerich, Orlando, Fla.
  • Lisa Montero, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Jason Ochoa, Glenview, Ill.
  • Bradley Kaplan, Thornton, Colo.
  • Kristian Mihailin, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Paul Gil, Dominican Republic; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ram Ong, Philippines
  • David Kringlund, Sweden
  • Charlie Bailey, UK

Click to download images of the finalists: http://bit.ly/wDx3F7

This team will be joined by reigning champion Attila Farmasi from Budapest as they battle it out at the Gaylord Glass Cactus Nightclub on February 26, 2012.

For more news and updates from T.G.I. Friday's, consumers can follow the brand on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TGIFridays), Twitter @TGIFridays and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/tgifridays). For any additional information, visit www.worldBTC.com.

About T.G.I. Friday's

T.G.I. Friday's offers a unique, casual experience delivering on its brand promise of "In Here it's ALWAYS Friday" melding authentic and imaginative American food, exciting and innovative drinks and a one of a kind service experience to provide liberation from the everyday -- turning any day into a FRIDAY! It is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, nearly 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World." As the original casual dining restaurant, Friday's delights guests in more than 900 restaurants across more than 60 countries around the globe. For more information, visit www.fridays.com.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120111/DA34371-a)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120111/DA34371-b)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060907/DATH025LOGO)

SOURCE T.G.I. Friday's



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