Illinois' Jason Ochoa Wins Central Division Title of T.G.I. Friday's® World Bartender Championship; Proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America

Carrollton, TX | November 13, 2007

Jason Ochoa of the Glenview, Illinois T.G.I. Friday's restaurant beat other top Larger than Life mixologists from across the Midwest last night to advance to the finals of T.G.I. Friday's® World Bartender Championship. All funds raised from the annual event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"T.G.I. Friday's has the world's greatest bartenders," said Central Division champion Ochoa. "I am honored to be part of this great Friday's tradition and look forward to competing against the best of the best at the World T.G.I. Friday's Bartending Championship in Las Vegas next February."

The divisional competition consisted of three segments -- compulsory, speed round and freestyle -- as well as a comprehensive skill test. The mixologists who competed in the Central Division competition are finalists from local, regional and super-regional competitions held earlier this fall.

Overall, more than 8,000 Friday's® bartenders from 58 countries are testing their knowledge and skills in their quest to reach the finals of the World Bartender Championship, where the title of "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World" will be decided in Las Vegas on February 25, 2008.

The competition, which represents Friday's heritage, knowledge, expertise and innovation in the beverage industry, began back in the late 80s as a challenge between bartenders and has grown into a full representation of the Friday's brand, one of the most recognized brands in the world. Friday's originated the now-famous, trend-setting, bottle-tossing "flair" style of bartending and its long history of innovation includes popularizing the term "Happy Hour".

There are 902 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in 58 countries. To find a Friday's location, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

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