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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