T.G.I. Friday's® to add 30 additional restaurants in the Middle East through Americana Group Partnership

Carrollton, Texas | December 30, 2010

T.G.I. Friday's, the casual dining leader in the global marketplace, and Americana Group, a licensed franchisee of T.G.I. Friday’s and the Kuwait-based Middle East operator of several leading global brands in quick service, coffee, casual dining and other food-related products, today announced that they have renewed the development agreement to build upon the success of the T.G.I. Friday’s brand in the Middle East. The development agreement will result in an additional 30 T. G. I. Friday’s restaurants over the next five years in the Middle East, making Friday’s® one of the leaders in American casual dining in this region.

"A core component of T.G.I. Friday’s overall growth strategy is identifying the right partners who can help us reach our goals," said Ian Saunders, president and chief operating officer, T.G.I. Friday’s International. "We have established a tremendous relationship with Americana, and this new development agreement emphasizes the strength of our partnership, a partnership that will add 30 new Friday’s restaurants to this thriving region."

Americana, whose territory encompasses Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE, currently owns and operates 36 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants.

About T.G.I. Friday’s
T.G.I. Friday's restaurants offer authentic American food and exciting drinks in an atmosphere that provides an energizing Friday feeling – any day of the week. Friday's guest recognition program, Give Me More Stripes®, rewards our loyal guests with great deals and fun events year-round, creating an engaging customer experience. As the original casual dining restaurant, T.G.I. Friday's differentiates itself with a unique point of view which promises to exhilarate its guests with the feeling of Friday. T.G.I. Friday's, which operates more than 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries, is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, approximately 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World.”    

T.G.I. Friday’s is part of Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.  Carlson encompasses more than 1,085 hotels including, Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global leader in business travel management.  Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people. For more information, visit www.carlson.com or www.fridays.com

About Americana Group
Americana, a publicly traded company on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (FOOD.KW), is the Middle East's most successful group of companies operating consumer foods, restaurants, and food-related products. Today, the Americana Group operates more than 1,200 restaurants with more than 45,000 employees from 21 nationalities across 14 countries between the Atlantic Ocean and Caspian Sea. The Americana Group operates international franchises like T.G.I. Friday's, Krispy Kreme, Costa coffee, KFC, Pizza Hut and Hardee's. The Americana Group's portfolio also includes a wide range of consumer foods manufactured in 17 factories in five different countries and marketed across the region with well-known names like Americana Meat, Americana Cake, Farm Frites, California Garden, Koki, Green Land and much more. For more information, please visit www.americana-group.net.

Contact:         
Rebecca Maas
Peppercom
1 (212) 931-6126

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