TGI Friday's Alcohol Scam | New Jersey

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TGI Fridays to Pay $500,000 for Passing Off Cheap Booze as Top-Shelf

Staff Writer
Several TGIFs were raided in New Jersey, to discover that they've been refilling premium alcohol bottles with bottom-shelf booze

After several New Jersey TGI Fridays were busted for passing off cheap alcohol as high-end brands, the owner Briad Group has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine without contesting the charges, AP reports.

Only eight TGI Fridays were named in the attorney general charges, although 29 establishments, including 13 TGI Fridays, were acccused of the booze swap after state raids back in May. The raids uncovered alcohol atrocities such as filling bottles with dirty water and passing it off as alcohol, or coloring rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring to be sold as scotch.

The agreement stipends that The Briad Group will pay $500,000 ($400,000 for the violations, $100,000 to cover investigative costs), as well as employ a state-appointment monitor for the next year (until June 14) to make sure the restaurants comply with the regulations. And while that's a hefty amount of money, Briad Group is handling the PR well, saying in statement that the company "is pleased that a negotiated settlement has been reached with the State of New Jersey and we look forward to putting this matter behind us... In addition to the settlement, we have also made operational adjustments, initiated new training programs and redoubled our efforts to ensure that all of our restaurants adhere to Fridays’ extensive bar and beverage standards."

Other cases against the Briad Group are still under investigation, including a separate lawsuit from two women who claim that Briad had actually instituted a policy to substitute cheaper alcohol for premium brands, violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

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