Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TGI Fridays' Brand Ambassador Program Kick Off Event

Who doesn't love goodies?
Dinner at TGI Fridays' in Dallas
If you caught my Twitter and Instagram feed this past week, then you were probably wondering what the heck I was talking about when I said I was now going to be a Brand Ambassador for the old-school favorite restaurant  TGI Fridays', Inc. As a matter of fact, I got a lot of friends and fans that sent me messages asking what that meant. So, I decided to write a post to tell you a little bit about it, and bring you up-to-speed on what's coming up.

So do you come here often?

Did you know TGI Fridays' invented
the loaded potatoes?
Sweet just as I like it
I was contacted about a month ago by the TGI Fridays' brand and asked if I'd be interested in being one of their Brand Ambassadors. I happen to love the brand and its world famous cocktails, so it didn't take much convincing at all. I'm sure you've all visited the restaurant at one point or another; whether to get some grub or hang out with friends. They're pretty hard to miss with hundreds of locations in over 61 countries, including the United States.

Once upon a time...

Cotton Candy and alcohol?
Sign me up.
Short Rib Tacos
The fun would start with a trip over to their headquarters in Plano, Texas (near Dallas) where a group of 8 bloggers from across the nation (including myself) would be immersed with information on everything we ever wanted to know about TGI Fridays', but were afraid to ask. Giddy with excitement, I donned my Donald Pliner cowboy boots and prepared to visit the place that made the term "Who shot JR?" famous.

My room kind of reminded me of a NYC loft

More drinks, more joy, oh boy.
Outdoor concert at the
Dallas Arboretum
To give you a few highlights of the kick-off event, we were whisked away from the airport in a black SUV to our cool-retro hotel, the Nylo, where a welcome gift from TGI Fridays' awaited us at the front desk. (Don't you just love those?) The rest of our evening included a cocktail-filled Happy Hour and a dinner tasting at a local TGIF in Dallas, where the chef explained all about the new dishes currently on the menu and the healthy approach TGI Fridays' is now taking in the preparation of their food. After we were all content to our hearts' desire with extremely satisfied tummies, we boarded our party bus and headed to the Dallas Arboretum for an outdoor concert that rocked - literally. The place is beautiful, by the way.

Jack Daniels Burger was unbelievable

Back at headquarters...
All of a sudden I want
to sing a Beatles song.
The next day was an intensive ride through the history of TGI Fridays', including a memory stroll back to the beginnings of the restaurant in 1965, where perfume salesman Alan Stillman opened the first location in New York City, as a place for singles to meet and unwind. (No internet dating during these times.) We reminisced through a gallery of pictures in the corporate office's lobby, capturing images of the first menu and the phenomenal evolution of the place. It was evident by the passion we heard from everyone we talked to, and the proud display of memorabilia, that TGI Fridays' has a deep rooted love for their product.  By noon, we were all excited to check out their "Little Fridays" located inside the building, where we were treated to a lunch showcasing the drink and food items that will be coming out in their new September menu. Get ready for some impressive food that will make your Instagram feed an instant hit. Sort of makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

Coming soon...
Shake shake shake
Before we left for the airport, we got the opportunity to learn a few bar tricks from a finalist at their annual World Bartender Championship. Now that was a sight for sore eyes; watching me spin that mixer in the air. Not bad for an amateur though. After learning some more about the restaurant, it was time to board a flight and head back home to the 305.

Will work for drinks...Just learned the Figure 8.
Anybody hiring?

What will I be doing as a Brand Ambassador for TGI Fridays'? I'll be sharing all the exciting changes, new menus, and events with you guys for the next 12 months. Be prepared to see foodporn you would never have guessed was shot at a chain restaurant, and get a first look at "clean" dishes whose nutritional value and no preservatives approach will make your jaw drop. Next year will mark TGI Fridays' 50th anniversary so I'm excited to get the scoop on what goodies they may have planned and bring them straight to you.

Lots of surprises are definitely in store, so you better believe we're going to have some fun, you, me and TGI Fridays'. In the meantime, you don't have to wait till Friday to start the weekend vibes...just drive to one. "In there, it's always Friday". And remember, this Cinco de Mayo, grab your amigos and a Horny 'Rita at TGI Fridays' for only $5 for the entire month of May. I know, I know... I just gave you the best news of the day.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed meeting you, Maria, and know we'll have fun these next 12 months!