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T.G.I. Friday's restaurants has opened its 50th South Korean location under its local franchisee FoodStar, Inc. The new restaurant opened in Seoul, and will be followed by three more developments by the end of the year, the company reports.

T.G.I. Friday's is an American casual dining concept that combines a bar and restaurant specialising in an American-style menu that includes grill steaks, ribs, seafood, burgers, chicken and TexMex. "We take the familiar items of American dining and add our own unique twist," says Vice President of International Marketing Claudia Schaefer.

"The way we develop, present and market those items really brings out the fun. We do accommodate local tastes and social or religious norms, but when we have developed country-specific menu items at the request of a franchisee, they have found that they were outperformed by the American items. There is not the demand to deviate much from the menu. When people go to an Italian restaurant it's because they want to eat Italian food - similarly, when customers visit T.G.I. Friday's, it's because they want to eat American food."

The brand, which has been established for 20 years and has 829 restaurants worldwide, including 270 in 54 countries outside the USA, first entered South Korea in 1993.

"Our international goal is to be the number one American casual dining brand in every market we enter," adds EVP and COO, International Steve King. "People in these markets who enjoy American food think T.G.I. Friday's, and they come to our restaurants because of the atmosphere, the fun and the open, informal service style. Our staff have the freedom to express their personalities, which is conducive to our customers relaxing and having a good time."


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