T.G.I. Friday's® Toasts 21st World Bartender Champion

David Kringlund Perfects Mix of Personality, Bar Acumen and Showmanship

CARROLLTON, Texas, Feb. 27, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- T.G.I. Friday's is raising a glass to celebrate David Kringlund from Stureplan, Sweden who was crowned the World's Greatest Bartender in the 21st annual World Bartender Championship (WBC) in Dallas. David's knowledge of mixology, crowd-pleasing energy and ability to pour the perfect mixed drink secured the title. More than 8,000 Friday's bartenders from around the world competed in a series of local and regional events leading up to the final showdown, which pit nine finalists against one another competing for the crown.

Along with over 1,000 spectators, multi-platinum recording artist Enrique Iglesias was on site enjoying the thrill of the competition and the skill of Friday's bartenders as one was crowned and awarded the $10,000 prize. Iglesias was on hand to introduce two new drinks featuring ATLANTICO Rum, available at Friday's later this year.

"This entire competition has been an exciting challenge and a phenomenal ride," said David. "Hours of training and preparation paid off not just with this win, but with the total experience that made me feel more a part of the Friday's family."

David wasn't the only one to take home honors. Sir Raminad "Ram" Ong of the Philippines was named T.G.I. Friday's Fan Favorite. More than 300,000 Friday's fans cast their vote through the World Bartender Championship website. Making his second appearance in the WBC Finals, Ram has served up that Friday feeling to guests for more than four years.

"We are always impressed by the talent that comes through this competition from all corners of the world," said Trey Hall, chief marketing officer for T.G.I. Friday's. "Anyone can learn to mix a good drink, but our bartenders – David in particular – have that extra something that ensures anyone seated around the bar will feel Friday's infectious energy."

Friday's bartenders from 60 countries were represented in this year's World Bartender Championship. After competing in a variety of skills tests, compulsory and speed rounds, the competition culminated in a freestyle showcase in Dallas. In addition to David and Ram, Top competitors that made it to the finals included:

  • Santiago Emeric (Orlando, Fla.)
  • Bradley Kaplan (Thornton, Colo.)
  • Kristian Mihailin (Las Vegas)
  • Lisa Montero (Virginia Beach, Va.)
  • Jason Ochoa (Glenview, Ill.)
  • Charlie "Chuck" Bailey (London)
  • Paul Gil (Santiago, Dominican Republic)

For more information on the World Bartender Championships and updates from Friday's, consumers can follow the brand on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TGIFridays), Twitter @TGIFridays, Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/tgifridayswbc/) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/TGIFridays).

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.

SOURCE T.G.I. Friday's

For further information: Nicole Bott of Peppercom, +1-212-931-6168, tgif@peppercom.com, for T.G.I. Friday's



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