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TGI Fridays© flagship restaurant brings international Entertainment – dining experience to Colombo Fort

Mr. Page welcoming the chief guest - Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence and Urban Development
Mr. Page welcoming the chief guest – Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa
TGI Fridays © the
latest phenomenon to enter the fast-growing leisure and entertainment sector in
Sri Lanka was declared open by Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence
and Urban Development and his wife, Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, on Thursday, October
17, 2013.
Located at one of
the oldest buildings in Fort dating back to 1896 the TGI Fridays Restaurant is
adjacent to the historic Dutch Hospital at No 23, Canal Row, Colombo – Fort.  The 191 seat Restaurant stylishly refurbished by Cargills brims
with old-world architectural charm with a very contemporary finish adding much energy and
colour to the already transformed Dutch Hospital Precinct.


Mr. Page with Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence and Urban Development
Mr. Page with Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence and Urban Development

TGI Fridays, a
global Brand that can raise industry standards
Cargills (Ceylon)
PLC is the franchisee of this globally followed entertainment cum dining trend
that has stormed the leisure circuit of 60 countries worldwide. Ms. Maljini Jayasekera,
Group Manager- Restaurants of Cargills said that over the past few years the
sector has experienced an upward trend and
is benefitting from the increased number of tourists arrivals to the country.
She said, “There is an increasingly evident demand for off-premise restaurants
that offer a variety of dining experiences outside city hotels. The number of
stand-alone casual and fine-dining restaurants in the Colombo city has
increased steadily while the market is also seeking international lifestyle
experiences. This is a trend that we see across income groups and is stimulated
by the State driven development drive that has re-invigorated the city
landscape. We therefore wanted to diversify our interest in the sector with an
international brand that would raise industry standards and TGI
Fridays was initiated against such a backdrop.”

A franchise
partnership with a commitment to the market

explained that getting the right partner to capture the industry opportunity
was very important to Cargills. She noted that the brand is a world renowned
one with a legacy of having transformed the entertainment and leisure sector of
every country it has entered. “The partner TGI Fridays together with its parent
Carlson is committed to the markets they enter and it’s a partnership and not
simply a franchise,” Jayasekera added.
training to deliver international dining experience
Donald MacQueen, International Managing Director, Asia Pacific – TGI Fridays,
noted that the restaurant atmosphere is created to give the Friday-feel every
day of the week. “Friday is, without a doubt, the best day of
the week. That’s as true in New York as it is in Tokyo and everywhere in
between. That’s why TGI Fridays celebrates the day every day of the week. The
entire restaurant team, its atmosphere, food and beverages are geared to create
the Friday’s atmosphere inside the restaurant. The restaurant teams and kitchen
staff receive extensive international experience to create the right meals,
beverages and give the right service to create the ultimate entertainment-dining
experience in any Country,” MacQueen said.  Jayasekera added that 58
employment opportunities have been created through the flagship restaurant and
each one of the recruits have been exposed to a rigorous international training
that would reflect in the client experience 
Local sourcing with rigorous supply chain procedures 
Majority of the raw material for
the restaurant is sourced locally other than in the case of a few signature TGI
Fridays dishes. “We have given local players the maximum opportunity whilst
exposing them to TGI Fridays food safety standards. Rigorous supply chain
audits are conducted to maintain the highest possible sourcing standards to
ensure that international TGI Fridays benchmarks are not compromised” Jayasekera
added. TGI Friday’ believes in the ‘Farm to Fork’ supply chain philosophy that
works to ensure that all fresh produce such as dairy, vegetables and livestock
produce is sourced from local agriculture communities creating substantial
direct and indirect economic dividends for various stakeholders.
located heritage property
Jayasekera added that the architects and the Cargills
engineering team faced a tremendous challenge in retaining the charm of the old
property while also bringing the zest of TGI Fridays into the ambience. “We
believe the outcome speaks for itself. We are confident that our efforts would
complement those of the State in terms of transforming the city landscape and
harnessing the full potential of our resources in line with the country’s
socio-economic objectives, “she concluded.

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