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tgi fridays alcoholic beverage control operation swill increase profits

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#1 Hum

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 14:30

TRENTON, NJ – Twenty-nine bars and restaurants, nearly half of them TGI Fridays, filled premium brand liquor bottles with lower-quality booze and sold it to patrons who thought they were buying the good stuff, authorities said Wednesday.

A yearlong investigation by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, dubbed Operation Swill, :huh: found that the establishments had swapped out the good liquor in an effort to fool customers and increase profits.

Thirteen of the restaurants cited are TGI Fridays located in central and northern New Jersey.

TGI Fridays Inc. said in a statement it was working with the franchisee and owner of the TGI Fridays restaurants to investigate the allegations, which it called serious. The statement said the company had just learned of the allegations.

"We have one of the most extensive bar and beverage programs in the industry, which sets a very high standard in the quality and service of our beverages," the company said.

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#2 Rippleman

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 14:40

if people couldn't tell a difference, then why are they ordering the better stuff to begin with?

#3 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 14:44

if people couldn't tell a difference, then why are they ordering the better stuff to begin with?

I know some of the bars around here don't even serve cheap stuff. Don't know about this situation, but it would give a bar justification to server 7 dollar shots instead of the usual 2.50 if its all name brand. I won't spend 7 on a shot of Smirnoff vodka but probably would for Sky if that was the only choice.

#4 Co_Co

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:07

same thing happens with sushi....if you don't know you're going to be had.

#5 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:12

a lot of places here in Ohio (at least locally to where I live) got in trouble for the same thing last year.

#6 Growled

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:16

I'm not surprised that TGI Fridays is involved. I've found them to be terrible places to eat anyway.

#7 Charisma

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:18

if people couldn't tell a difference, then why are they ordering the better stuff to begin with?

Well, you know how people are.

That being said, I imagine at least a few people did notice a difference, which led to this being discovered.

#8 +Nik L

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:19

I've had this at a bar in the UK. Went to the bar, ordered a cranberry and goose (a semi-decent vodka). When barman served it, he then went to the till before collecting money. I took a sip and said "Sorry, I said Grey Goose, not house vodka", "That is Grey Goose" he replied.

Took another sip, making sure to just be a sip - didn't want to "drink" it. "No, sorry, that's not Grey Goose", "It really is". I said no worries and said I'd leave it. Blah blah blah, there's more back and forth here including his manager...

Eventually the bar man said "Try just sipping a shot of Goose, see if it tastes like you think it should". The manager got really irate at him saying how dare he give drinks away. That's when I twigged, they'd been refilling the bottles with cheaper (tasted like own-brand vodka).

When the manager wouldn't allow this - I simply told them my suspicions and was asked to leave. Shoulda reported it to trading standards, but meh!

#9 OP Hum

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:21

You can't even get decently crocked in this country anymore. :wacko:

#10 Growled

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:23

You can't even get decently crocked in this country anymore. :wacko:


What is this country coming to? :D

#11 lunamonkey

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:34

I've had this at a bar in the UK. Went to the bar, ordered a cranberry and goose (a semi-decent vodka). When barman served it, he then went to the till before collecting money. I took a sip and said "Sorry, I said Grey Goose, not house vodka", "That is Grey Goose" he replied.

Took another sip, making sure to just be a sip - didn't want to "drink" it. "No, sorry, that's not Grey Goose", "It really is". I said no worries and said I'd leave it. Blah blah blah, there's more back and forth here including his manager...

Eventually the bar man said "Try just sipping a shot of Goose, see if it tastes like you think it should". The manager got really irate at him saying how dare he give drinks away. That's when I twigged, they'd been refilling the bottles with cheaper (tasted like own-brand vodka).

When the manager wouldn't allow this - I simply told them my suspicions and was asked to leave. Shoulda reported it to trading standards, but meh!


Why would they try it on with a premium brand? People who order premium know how it tastes :s They aren't clever with it then. :p

I understand no-name labelled drink for value stuff would be hard to tell, but Goose for value, or something like JD, or Bombay, would just be obvious.

#12 Torolol

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:41

so what define the 'premium-ness' of booze? certainly not the bottles...

#13 +Nik L

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:44

I understand no-name labelled drink for value stuff would be hard to tell, but Goose for value, or something like JD, or Bombay, would just be obvious.

I know, right!? It was astoundingly obvious!

so what define the 'premium-ness' of booze? certainly not the bottles...

Flavour, texture, etc. For example a good vodka will be smooth like butter, almost flavourless, A cheap vodka will taste like paint thinner. Also, I tend to not get hangovers with better quality vodka.

#14 Brian M.

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 15:49

so what define the 'premium-ness' of booze? certainly not the bottles...


If you want a test, buy a cheapo bottle of Whiskey, and then go and buy a decent 15 year old single malt. There's a reason one's 10 times the price of the other :p.

#15 Rippleman

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 22:44

true, i guess some people should be able to tell if you love what you are drinking. For example, no one believed that I could tell the difference of Diet Pepsi out of a 2l bottle or out of a can, but i can get it 100% of the time.