As if you needed another reason not to eat at TGI Friday’s — beyond the disgusting food, annoying patrons and depressing atmosphere — the restaurant chain has now been accused of duping its customers by serving alcoholic drinks that aren’t what they claim to be.
Specifically, it’s alleged that 13 TGI Fridays in the New Jersey area substituted substances like rubbing alcohol and artificial food coloring for expensive scotch and other top-shelf liquors. More than 10 other restaurants were also implicated in the scandal.
My first thought upon learning of this story: who in their right mind orders expensive scotch at TGI Fridays? The deep, fruity and slightly spicy undertones of Glenfiddich don’t exactly pair well with the heavy, greasy and constipation-inducing overtones of Fridays Loaded Potato Skins.
Nonetheless, enough people were ordering premium drinks at TGI Fridays in New Jersey to prompt someone in the restaurants’ supply chain to figure out that a lot of money could be saved by filling half-empty liquor bottles with “dirty water” and other cheap fillers, and then serving the fake booze to patrons.
The practice was just exposed when the findings of a year-long investigation aptly named “Operation Swill” went public.
During the operation, investigators confiscated and tested over 1,000 open bottles of scotch, whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and tequila.
Investigators did not reveal which restaurant was busted selling rubbing alcohol as scotch, nor which one added dirty water to bottles. Many of the restaurants implicated appear to be guilty of lesser offenses, like substituting cheaper liquor for premium brands.