Archive for December, 2012

Have a GREAT YEAR!

May all your troubles last as long as your New Years resolutions!  -Joey Adams-

Fun and Games

Our motto in the founding days of the Friday’s experience was, “be the best, have fun and make money”. We were fanatical about all three. The book is all about how to be the best; this blog is mostly about the fun part. Since the minute I could afford a sailboat I have had one. For years I kept the boat in the Abacos, out islands in the Bahamas. I regularly flew various parts of the organization to the boat for meetings that were both serious and fun. Two games emerged that I want to share with you.

PALM BEACH BOWLING ASSOCIATION
This a great game with a great  tradition amongst the faithful. PBBA shirts are highly prized. First you need a beach, complete with  the normal slope to the sea. Then you need coconuts of various sizes and weights. Next you need 10 freshly emptied beer cans, emphasis on ‘freshly’. You set the beach alley up, horizontal to the water, placing the 10 pins (freshly emptied beer cans) as you would in a regular game of bowling. Five paces from the head pin you draw a lob line in the sand. 15 paces from the lob line is the throw line. Each player selects his or her coconut (size matters). When throwing the coconut it must hit beach before the lob line. Scoring is as in regular bowling. It is hilarious to watch.  The irregularity of the coconuts and the slope of the beach is very challenging. Have another beer, we always need back up pins!
DEER HUNTER
We had a great real estate department but when together wild is an understatement. It was always fun when I took them to the boat. If you remember the movie “Deer Hunter” you will remember the scene where they are playing Russian roulette. This is their version. A round of beer is placed in the ice, one violently shaken. Each player draw out a beer holds it up to his or her ear and pops the top aimed into the ear. Pretty funny especially if you have already had a few.
PICTURE ABOVE
This is a game I do not recommend. That’s my mother in law with a friend. I had just left them on a deserted island for beating me at dominos. Just kidding! 
See the travels of S/V Black Diamond: sailblackdiamond.com

Not gone BUT forgotten!

 
 

Long ago, I got used to people adding an “S” to the end of my name. I guess it’s because they want more than one of me. Be that as it may, I was really surprized to find out that I was dead.

What was my demise? Well, it all started with the London Times. While I was sailing around the world, they were covering the opening of the T.G.I. Friday’s in London at Covent Garden. The Time’s food critic Craig Brown went in to review the food and service.  His article, published in the Time’s Sunday Magazine on September 16, 1990 started the ball rolling. I will quote just a portion of his very up beat article.

“Close to our table there was a framed black and white photograph of a short-haired gentleman with spectacles and an odd stare, looking like a rather young tycoon or a rather old assassin, as is so often the case among white American middle-class males.  Our waitress did not know who he was, but went to find out.  It emerged that he was none other than Daniel Scoggin, founder of Thank God It’s Friday’s, but now, it was thought, sadly deceased.”

Well, at least Craig got my name right. 

When I began research on the book, I was contacted by Karen Forrester, who is Managing Director of T.G.I. Friday’s UK. She wanted to make sure I was still alive, because Karen hoped to meet me and learn more about the history of the company and how I made Friday’s the Number One Casual Theme Restaurant in the World.

At that meeting, she handed me a framed copy of the article from Craig Brown at the London Times. After sharing a good laugh, Karen let down the boom. Not only was I dead, but there was a man named Dan Scoggins (there’s that “S” again) featured on the UK Friday’s website. Do you know what his claim to fame was? He was an Antique Canoe Dealer who sold canoes to Friday’s! By the way, we never did have a canoe in any of the restaurants. We had a racing skull that was 60 feet long and I guess you could have stuck a couple of canoes in there, but their paddles would have been just too short.

As we finish up the book, I’ve devised a little plan to come back to the living. This summer, I’m heading to London to give Karen an award for all the incredibly wonderful job she has done turning around the Friday’s restaurants in the UK. Though she already has numerous awards for her great work, this one might mean a little more as I plan on inviting a very special guest. It seems that Craig Brown is still with the London Times, so he’s getting an engraved invitation to the awards ceremony. Hopefully when he sees me bouncing around on the stage, he’ll print a retraction that says, “Dan Scoggin is back from the dead and about to publish a book that can make anyone a great success in business!”

By the way, the picture above was sent to me by a former CEO of Friday’s. It’s the tip bell from the first store I built on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Though he didn’t get the name quite right, at least he still knew I was among the living.

 

Dan Scoggin
Friday’s Founder

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Things you miss!

These are my rides from Friday’s glory days, ground and air. I designed the paint scheme for the Falcon X and somehow ended up with a matching Rolls.  Long story, but no one was hurt in the process.  I have talked with many CEO’s and read many accounts of how the #1 thing they miss is the corporate jet.  I must admit the plane pictured above came close to #1 until I started writing and reconnecting with the exhilaration of the Friday’s culture and the Friday’s family of friends.  That’s what I really miss most!  The biggest benefit of doing this book has turned out to be reconnecting with the Friday’s family past and now present under the direction of Karen Forrester.  I am really looking forward to meeting her team in Florida.  I am working on my British English now…..lift…loo…bonnet……round about…..pissed….dishy but I am not going to the cigarette thingy, no one smokes anymore anyway!

Writing a Book

Wow, what an experience. With the help and guidance of  my ghost writer Mikie Baker aka Casper (pictured above). Mikie, by the way, is one of Friday’s original employees who handled our creative efforts back in the day. I embarked on this adventure while sitting on Black Diamond in the Sacramento Delta last summer. It has been a blast. We tell Friday’s story, while along the way aiming the book at teaching common sense principles that apply to most any business and a lot of everyday life. Organization, decision making and standards are just a few of the things we address.  We have conducted a range of interviews with business leaders from start-up to mid-sized companies such as Pier 39 where we keep the boat. I am working on an interview with Herb Kelleher the founder of Southwest Airlines, after all I have chartered a third of his airline (to learn that story you will have to buy the book). All of my research has served to reinforce the principles we used to make Friday’s a success are still golden today. Living proof is Friday’s UK. Karen Forrester Managing Director of Friday’s UK flew to San Francisco to meet with me recently and I am attending a reward celebration for 300 of her managers in Florida later this month. The success she has created in the UK is phenomenal and she says she is doing it by just going back to Friday’s  roots.  I plan to visit her in London this coming year with a special presentation but shhhhh it’s a surprise.

First Blog. by Dan Scoggin

Finally after contemplating the Friday’s experience, traveling 160,000 sea miles and receiving a great deal of encouragement I am writing ‘the’ book. I am very appreciative of all the Friday’s alumni that are giving me their support and help with their memories and life experience evolving from their time with the company. Karen Forrester, currently the Managing Director of Friday’s UK is a true inspiration with her full implementation and further growth of the principles that made Friday’s a leader and icon in it’s field. Above is a photo of my latest vessel S/V Black Diamond. My wife and I picked it up in France. Sandys first big sailing adventure was to cross the Atlantic with me, my third time so I knew the way. We have traveled many miles in the last 10 years, through the Panama Canal and north to Alaska. If you are one of the many that made Fridays a success in the early days I would love to hear from you.