March 20, 2015
Carrollton, TX, March 20, 2015– TGI FridaysSM has crowned Stavros Loumis of Larnaca, Cyprus the World’s Greatest Bartender at the 24th annual World Bartender Championship (WBC) in Dallas. Loumis’s perfectly precise cocktails, engaging personality and unreal bottle flair enabled him to earn top honors as the Greatest Bartender in the World.
Loumis beat out nine other finalists at the local, regional and divisional levels in 2014. These 10 finalists ousted more than 8,000 bartenders from over 900 TGI FridaysSM restaurants in 60 countries around the world.
After undergoing rigorous tests on products, ingredients and recipes, the finalists competed in a showdown at the House of Blues in Dallas in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators. They showed their best flair moves and mixed innovative drinks – proving they have what it takes to both engage with their guests and execute flawless mixology techniques – qualities made famous by FridaysSM.
The crowd at the House of Blues was some of the first to sip on the Top Shelf Spicy Margarita, one of FridaysSM new signature drinks featuring award-winning Casamigos Tequila that will be offered in restaurant this spring. Innovative new FridaysSM appetizers were served, made fresh from the FridaysSM food truck. Additional highlights included music spun by one of Red Bull’s top DJs, DJ Fishr Pryce and emcee Phil Wills, former World Bartender Championship competitor and industry veteran. The judging panel consisted of beverage industry professionals including bar and restaurant mogul Rande Gerber, who created Casamigos Tequila along with longtime friends George Clooney and Michael Meldman. TGI FridaysSM and Casamigos are working together on an upcoming partnership.
“The World Bartender Championship is where the best TGI FridaysSM bartenders from around the world showcase their skills; it’s talent like this that makes FridaysSM the bedrock of bars,” said Matt Durbin, former World Bartender Champion and vice president of brand strategy and menu innovation. “We’re proud to honor Stavros as The Greatest Bartender in the World.”
“I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to be named the World’s Greatest Bartender,” said Loumis. “I competed against so many really talented bartenders from all over the world. I’m so proud to be a TGI FridaysSM bartender and can’t wait to celebrate back home in Cyprus!”
In addition to the crown, other awards were bestowed. FridaysSM fans cast votes on the World Bartender Championship website for their favorite bartender, and Russell Ward of Sheffield, U.K. was named the TGI FridaysSM Fan Favorite. Russell’s fun mixology routines and hometown fan base helped make him stand out among the rest.
The 10 finalists in this year’s World Bartender Championship hailed from five different countries. The top competitors were:
Throughout the local, regional and division bartender competitions leading up to the World Bartender Championship, FridaysSM restaurants raised $200,000 for Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, through local events and raffles. Funds will be distributed to member food banks across the country to help the 49 million Americans who struggle with hunger.
For more information on the World Bartender Championships and updates from FridaysSM, consumers can visit http://www.worldbtc.com/ and follow the brand on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TGIFridays), Twitter @TGIFridays and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/TGIFridays).
About TGI FridaysSM
In 1965, FridaysSM opened its first location in New York City. Today, there are over 900 restaurants in 60 countries which offer high quality, authentic American food and legendary drinks, served with genuine personal service. Bringing people together to socialize and celebrate the freeing and liberating spirit of “Friday” is the concept’s founding premise, from which the brand promise “In Here, It’s Always FridaySM” was born. For more information, visit www.fridays.com or follow us on Twitter at @TGIFridays.