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

3 Time Saving Tax Tips, From a Stevie Awards Winning Executive

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:25 PM

Therese Tucker, CEO and Founder of BlackLine Systems, won the Stevie® Award for Executive of the Year  in The 2011 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. Therese will chair the committee for final judging of the management awards categories in The 2012 American Business Awards. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 ABAs is April 25, request your entry kit now.)

We asked Therese to share some tips with us on how managers can improve their end of year financial close processes.

What are your top 3 tips for senior managers looking to improve and streamline their account reconciliation and financial close processes?

  1. Therese TuckerTechnology can automate repetitive, boring job functions and give your accounting staff more time to analyze and focus on strategic initiatives. 
  1. Get organized: The best of tools won’t clean up a mess for you. 
  1. Get executive sponsorship/buy-in early: Make sure that your CFO supports the initiative by understanding that a better process will give him/her confidence in the results. This will help garner the necessary time and resources to make meaningful changes and improvements.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
Another plane crash, in Siberia.  Regulations can be onerous, but as a frequent traveler I’m thankful that I mostly take the safety of flying for granted!

Do you have a favorite app?
The Sudoku app on my iPad.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would be either a yoga teacher or a chef.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Honesty, intelligence, and heart.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
As the business keeps growing, the job keeps changing.  Being CEO of a company with five people is very different than having 105 employees and almost 500 customers. It stays interesting!

About Therese Tucker, CEO and Founder, BlackLine Systems:
After 25 years at SunGard Treasury Systems where she served as Chief Technology Officer and head of development for SunGuard's Global Trader system, Therese Tucker was ready for a new business venture using emerging technology. Wanting to combine her two talents, technology innovation and finance, Therese started BlackLine in 2001 to address the technology needs of financial organizations. Therese successfully launched BlackLine by developing an automated solution for account reconciliations which tapped into a previously un-served market. In recent years, Therese has led the company’s shift to a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business model which has allowed to company to experience revenue growth of more than 50% in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition to her automated solution, Therese has developed other software including Tax Answer Scenarios, a tax planning product that has been marketed to over 1,000 tax preparers and CPAs annually since 1998.

About BlackLine Systems:
Founded in 2001, BlackLine Systems was the first to develop and offer a commercially available Balance Sheet Account Reconciliation solution.  BlackLine provides quick-to-implement, scalable, and easy-to-use applications that automate the entire financial close process to help improve financial controls for companies of all sizes.  BlackLine software applications complement existing Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. BlackLine offers clients its enterprise-class software in a simple and secure OnDemand/SaaS platform.  With a proven track record and a commitment to customer success, BlackLine seeks to reduce the burden the financial close places on accounting and finance professionals.  For more information, please visit www.blackline.com.

Tags: business awards, management awards, stevie awards, American business awards, executive of the year, emerging technology, BlackLine, Therese Tucker, innovative technology

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