The global T.G.I. Friday’s® brand, renowned for its upbeat service, eclectic atmosphere and American bistro menu, continues its rapid development in Asia and worldwide with the opening of Friday’s® fifth restaurant in Japan on December 11. T.G.I. Friday’s Japan, Inc., a Japanese franchise group, opened its first Friday’s restaurant in Japan in August 1999, just over a year ago. Currently, Friday’s restaurants operate in 52 countries worldwide. The latest T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant will be located in the Japan’s highly popular and trend-setting Ginza district.

“The opening of our fifth Friday’s in Japan expresses a craving for American bistro cuisine, almost as an ethnic food, in Asia and beyond,” said Tetsuya Emura, president and chief executive officer of T.G.I. Friday’s Japan, Inc. “This new location is important to the overall development of the Friday’s brand globally. The Ginza district is one of Japan’s premier locations and the dynamics of the market complement the quintessential American atmosphere of T.G.I. Friday’s,” said Richard Snead, chief operating officer of international business for Dallas-based Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. “We have an outstanding partner in Japan that truly understands and represents our unique Friday’s brand and culture.”

Located in the trend-setting New York Times Square-like Ginza district, the 5,200-square-foot restaurant seats approximately 220 guests and will feature decor reminiscent of Friday’s restaurants across the Pacific. Other popular American brands in the district include Starbucks and McDonald’s. The restaurant will include traditional Friday’s fare, and will also feature Yakitori, a popular Japanese grilling style. The opening of the fifth Friday’s location in Japan is a joint venture of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. and licensed through franchisee, T.G.I. Friday’s Japan, Inc.

Since the first T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant opened its doors in New York City in 1965, Friday’s restaurants have embodied the spirit of a quintessential American bistro for millions of guests. Now operating in 52 countries, Friday’s restaurants feature trend-setting American appetizers, entrees and beverages as well as a vintage-style decor of classic antiques, stained-glass windows, wooden floors, brass accents, Tiffany-style lamps and red-and-white stripes. The restaurant has popularized many American favorites, including the “potato skins” appetizer and a wide array of frozen and ice cream drinks. Friday’s menu features nearly 100 menu items including entree salads, pasta dishes and chargrilled entrees like the popular and innovative Jack Daniel’s® Grill.

Editor’s Note: Dallas-based Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of TGI Friday’s Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies, Inc., a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of June 30, 2000, Carlson Restaurants operates, franchises or licenses 638 restaurants in 52 countries, including T.G.I. Friday’s, Front Row® Sports Grill and Friday’s American Bar®. Carlson Restaurants Worldwide is included in the Carlson Hospitality Worldwide division of Carlson Companies, Inc.

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