Exactly half a century before TGI Friday’s opened in Denmark, Alan Stillman opened the first outlet in 1965 in New York because there were a lot of young, single women in his neighbourhood and he wanted to meet them.
But there’s something about this story that doesn’t make sense: Stillman was a perfume salesman! But still, fortunately for future generations, he swapped his sales spiel for ribs on the grill.
History tells us that we ought to be extremely grateful he did.
No Tom Cruise!
Without TGI Friday’s we wouldn’t have had Tom Cruise. Forget about ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Risky Business’, because the film that really put him on the A List was ‘Cocktail’.
Central to the plot were the tricks of the trade perfected by bartenders working at TGI Friday’s in the 1970s, and a TGI specialist was among the team that prepared Cruise for his role.
And no dating clubs!
And without TGI Friday’s we wouldn’t have dating clubs. Such was its popularity with the singles crowd – yes, Alan did get a few dates – that TGI started installing phonebooths so its customers could arrange dates with one another, and sometimes transport home.
Over the years, it has hosted its fair share of wedding receptions. After all, the progeny of these events are their customers of the future.
Joining the family
By welcoming its first TGI, Denmark has joined a family that has over 60 members. Some 408 of its 908 restaurants are based overseas – quick growth given that its first foreign outlet in Birmingham, England didn’t open until the mid-1980s.
And the restaurant really looks after its own family: its staff. An internal charity, Have a Heart, provides support to members in need. And the restaurant chain is a keen supporter of other charities – most particularly in the areas of fighting hunger and youth education.