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Aaron Hardy Of Orlando, FL Battles For The Crown Of "World's Best Bartender"

ORLANDO, Fla., March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Orlando's own Aaron Hardy will be among the ten elite finalists vying for the title of "World's Best Bartender" at TGI Fridays annual World Bartender Championship (WBC) being held at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas, on March 6 th. Orlando bartender Aaron Hardy took home top honors for the South divisional region in the fall and will now showcase his bottle-wielding and recipe crafting skills for a panel of judges who will crown the champion based on knowledge of the bar, flavor of the drinks and 'flairtending' skills.

The WBC started as a one-off challenge between two bartenders, and is now widely recognized as the toughest international bartending competition. Today, the WBC welcomes more than 8,000 bartenders around the world. Aaron has been practicing his flairtending technique for seven years, and part of the Fridays SM family for 10 years.

"The World Bartender Championship may be a global competition, but every bartender started their quest by instilling that corner bar experience at his or her local TGI Fridays," said Matt Durbin, Vice President of Beverage and Bar for Carlson Restaurants, parent company to Fridays. "It's the amazing energy, skill and unique service style happening at Fridays restaurants around the world that makes this competition possible, and the hometown fans really drive that excitement."

Fan Favorite ContestFridays invited the fans of this year's finalists from around the globe to join in the fun through the Fan Favorite online contest, which allowed friends, family and fans of the finalists to show their support by voting for their favorite bartender on the World Bartender Championship site. The bartender who generated the most votes will be announced at the finals and will receive a "Fan Favorite" title to commemorate the year of the competition.

Last year David Kringlund from Stureplan, Sweden, was crowned the 2011 World's Greatest Bartender. He claimed the title from the 2010 WBC champion Attila Farmas, from Budapest, Hungary, and battled out thousands of others around the globe during the 21st anniversary of Fridays World Bartender Championship. Take a look at this year's finalists:

The ten 2012 global WBC finalists are:

  • Aaron Hardy, Orlando, FL
  • Andy Hool, Canton, MI
  • Chantry Coffman, Dallas, TX
  • Hiroyuki "Mark" Yamada, Tokyo, Japan
  • Jessica Myers, Vestal, NY
  • Joachim "Jack" Reichel, Oslo, Norway
  • Kristian Mihalin, Las Vegas, NV
  • Paul Gil, Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • Russell Ward, Sheffield, UK
  • Christian, Beavercreek, OH

For more news and updates from TGI Friday's, guests can follow the brand on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/TGIFridays), Twitter @TGIFridays and YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/user/tgifridays).

About TGI Fridays SM TGI Fridays restaurants offer authentic American food and exciting drinks in an atmosphere that provides an energizing Friday feeling – any day of the week. Fridays SM guest recognition program, Give Me More Stripes®, rewards loyal guests with great deals and fun events year-round, creating an engaging customer experience. As the original casual dining restaurant, TGI Fridays differentiates itself with a unique point of view which promises to exhilarate its guests with the feeling of Friday. TGI Fridays, 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 TGI Fridays Bartender in the World." TGI Fridays believes in the importance of acting responsibly and as a result its Responsible Business Program is focused on positively impacting the economic and environmental well-being of the communities and neighborhoods in which it operates. For more information, visit www.fridays.com.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060907/DATH025LOGO)

SOURCE T.G.I. Friday's

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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