The Stevie Awards Blog

The Tech Department Behind TGI Fridays

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

Although Alan Stillman didn’t invent the phrase “TGIF,” he knew how universal the feeling was, and he opened the first TGI Fridays restaurant in 1965 in New York, United States.

As the original casual dining bar and grill, TGI Fridays offers authentic American food and legendary drinks, and it’s all served with genuine personal service.

Bringing people together to socialize and to celebrate the liberating spirit of Friday was the restaurant’s founding premise, and from this was born the brand promise: in here, it's always Friday.

To share the Friday experience all over the world, TGI Fridays proudly serves guests in over nine hundred restaurants in more than sixty countries. Making every day feel like Friday wouldn't be possible, however, without creating a place where friends feel free to get together. TGI Fridays takes pride in their nearly 74,000 skilled and knowledgeable team members who help serve their guests each and every day.

tgi fridays

Connected Experiences

Technology is revolutionizing the restaurant industry, and the influx of mobile capabilities, tablets, online ordering, and even AI-driven automation in the food and beverage space continues to accelerate and to create more meaningful and connected dining experiences.

Chief Experience Officer at TGI Fridays, Sherif Mityas, affirms the impact they’ve felt since winning a Gold Stevie Award®, especially as it pertains to their IT department.

“This is an amazing award for our team and for the organization as a whole. Being recognized as the best IT department of the year in The American Business Awards® is truly an honor, and it has created an immense sense of pride for every team member in the organization.”

By incorporating technology into the dining experience for their guests, TGI Fridays continues to make a concerted effort to create an innovative mindset for their entire brand. In many ways, according to Mityas, they consider themselves a “technology company that happens to sell beer and ribs.”

The team has also been recognized as a two-time winner of the CIO100 award (by CIO Magazine), a Digital50 award winner, and the Most Innovative Team (by the International Franchise Association).

Be Better, Do Better

TGI Fridays doesn’t just celebrate the Friday brand in their restaurants; they also pass that mentality to their staff members. As such, they allow all IT team members to leave early on Friday, which gives people time to enjoy their friends and family and, in turn, to be better and more productive at work.

Their IT team also comprises men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds. Ranging in age from twenty-two to seventy-five, the team members are over 60 percent women, and the minority workers hail from over twelve countries.

“It’s truly an exceptional team that does great things together for the benefit of our millions of guests around the world every day.”
 
A never-ending drive to be better and to do more has allowed a relatively small group to accomplish great things. One of the keys to their success is never settling for how things are expected to be.

“We're always challenging the status quo and asking what’s next,” says Mityas.

Tags: awards technology, The American Business Awards, innovative technology, it awards, tech awards

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