of a successful restaurant idea
that was picked up by a corporate machine
, blanded down to reach a bigger market
segment, and spread out across the globe
"It all began modestly enough. An unmarried New York City perfume salesman named Alan Stillman decided that the coolest way to meet the stewardesses in his neighborhood would be to buy a broken down beer joint, jazz it up with Tiffany lamps and mod young waiters and christen it – with an eye toward attracting the career crowd – the T.G.I.F. (Thank Goodness It’s Friday). Within one week the police had to ring Friday’s (as it quickly became known) with barricades to handle the nightly hordes of young singles. Hundreds of blatantly imitative emporiums soon opened their doors in scores of major cities – and an industry was born."
Newsweek, July 16, 1973
I don't know about the one in your town, but there is nary a single person, stewardess or otherwise, to be seen. It's full of teenager
s, families, and senior citizen
s. The fern bar
of the Baby Boomers
has become the kid-friendly casual dining
establishment for the whole family
Stillman's first restaurant on the Upper East Side (First Avenue and 63rd Street) opened in 1965.
Even ten years later, there were just 10 restaurants in 8 states. Enter the Carlson Companies, of Minneapolis, which buys the whole chain. Flash forward to now: 575 restaurants in 50 countries. T.G.I. Fridays, Inc. is a trademark of T.G.I. Fridays of Minnesota, which is an affiliate of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, which in turn is owned by the Carlson Companies, Inc. of Minneapolis. If you think that's confusing, your corporation (domestic or international) can own a T.G.I. Friday's franchise, too.