Posts Tagged Friday’s



‘Bleeding Red and White’ was a term used by the Friday’s Family to describe their dedication and commitment to the Friday’s values, they all believed and lived. Excellence as a standard has an incredible impact on an organization and the individuals that make up that organization. While writing the book my travels have put me in contact with many of the ‘alumni’. They all still glow excellence and with the impact the Friday’s experience had on them. Excellence is still a part of their life and they still ‘bleed red and white!

While meeting with Scott Smith the ‘turn-around’ CEO of Texas Land and Cattle/ Lone Star Steak, I was pleasantly surprised by Cherry, a Friday’s ‘alumni’, who is a manager for Scott. She still glows excellence and still bleeds red and white! I spent four hours with Scott and Cherry is in great hands. She will find the same commitment to excellence and  shared values and not miss a beat in her personal growth.

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Excellence is A Habit & Never Ending Quest!


I love it! Excellence is a never ending quest. Years ago, while developing DALT’S, a second concept at Friday’s, we conducted an extensive search for the worlds best FRESH french fry. We found it and conducted a high quality covert operation, decoding the recipe. DALT’S fries were an absolute HIT! Fresh fries are hard to find, let alone great fresh fries. If I told you the formula, you would understand why. The process began with how and how long the raw potatoes were stored and ended after  mutli-stage processing with the final frying in a special oil blend. Wow! A major effort but they were very, very, GOOD !

Jim West was a party to this successful quest. Jim, as a part of his restaurant empire, has a food truck in Philadelphia, called Joe’s Spuds (google ‘joe spuds food truck). Today, he told me, in a further quest for excellence, that he had developed new improvements for the DALT’S  process and is continuing to searching for more. After learning about these improvements, on a secure line, I was very impressed and can hardly wait to try them!


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Times Have Changed
I have found writing a very enlightening process. Hopefully, my readers will get as much out of reading the book as I have had in writing it. Besides combining the book’s content with my years of experience, I have spent much time researching current trends to make this information relevant for today. In this technology driven age, it seems presentation is paramount.  There are a variety of new forms of communication besides traditional publishing. The attention span of the reader is being trained by USA Today, Facebook and Twitter.  The rate and direction of change is hard for even the professionals in the business world to absorb.

Help Wanted
My working research indicated a clear need. The business world is confused. Young people straight out of college have no direction. Companies are failing in record numbers. I have heard the stories from people I have met and interviewed. It is clear to me that business people can become much more successful. All they need is some help. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to get started because I know what it takes to be successful.

The Solution
I gathered a team of professionals to help me with this important piece of work. Initially, we assembled a wealth of information and sorted it into what we felt was a logical outline. Then we wrote our first draft which had sufficient value to attract a respected agent. Along the way we developed our graphics and worked through our first re-write. Our objective has always been clear. It was not to tell the story of T.G.I. Friday’s or to simply be a tell-all memoir. Instead, we have focused on producing a working manual for entrepreneurs, up-start young managers, or anyone who simply wants to have a more successful life. This life-long collection of tools, philosophies, theories and metaphors are all well suited to the task.


Life’s Manual
Recently, I had a little unanticipated “think” time while being hospitalized with a tough flu-like infection. I don’t know if it was the morphine or the high fever, but in my delirium, I had an epiphany. What people need is something simple and easy to use that can still give them dramatic changes. Certainly you are familiar with the manuals you receive with major purchases, automobiles and the like. While there is thick, well document version, almost none of us get beyond the Quick Start Guide” and truthfully some of us only use it when all else has failed! So, our vision is to produce a business success “Quick Start Guide.”

The Right Road
Whether you need a start-up, a tune-up or simply a road map, this guide will help you with goal setting, problem solving, and development.  We are hard at work producing the operating manual that will guide you down the road to your greater development. All we ask is that you think while we teach you the ins and outs of a principle-based foundation that will take you and your business the distance.  When you learn “how to think” not “what you think” you will be on the road to success!

Dan Scoggin
Friday’s Founder


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Counseling has always been one of my most rewarding endeavors. In the past, my employees, and today’s young people are trying to understand life. As I started writing my book everyone commented on today’s youth and difficulties with the work force. The problem appears to be a generational change that has not been met with change and understanding on the part of their leaders and  management. I like what the younger generations are bringing to the table and when properly challenged and managed will give us a bright future.

In the book I use several metaphors dealing with goal setting and the future. Earlier in this blog I used the illustration of looking at the bugs on the windshield and not seeing the road ahead.  The advice I have given recently that seems to resonate best with the younger generations, is before you decide on today, envision where you would like to picture yourself 10 years from today. This exercise has created a lot of ‘aha’ moments. See where you want to be clears away a lot of confusion about how to get there.  I like the Peter Drucker quote, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Ignore what Yogi Berra humorously  says, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Rather listen to George Burns, “I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”

One of my principle metaphors in the book addresses how goal setting and looking into the future  makes the immediate decision making more clear. Final statement on this topic comes from Jack Welch, “Control your own destiny or someone else will.”


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One of my favorite compliments was that, Friday’s was an institution not a chain. Cheesecake Factory is an institution – not a chain. When I left for my sailing adventure Friday’s had a 200+ item menu and we made everything from scratch, including the sauces and dressings. Through the insistence of the new owner we had over -expanded and were having trouble with the execution. The clear choice was to slow down and train but not compromise our fresh product. After my departure focus groups knew better and the menu was reduced by 100 items to reduce the degree of difficulty. This of course was the beginning of the end of Friday’s famous food culture.

In a few weeks, I will have the honor, to meet with David Overton, the founder of Cheesecake Factory. In preparation for our meeting I have been doing my homework. As a part of that homework I visited the Union Square CCF. I ordered a dish I knew would require a sauce with  complex seasoning. Wow! It was excellent! My wife and I ordered another dish simply because we have been addicted to it for years, Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes. Everything I believe and teach was being executed in the entire restaurant to a clear standard of excellence.

I introduced myself to the manager, Dave Schaefer, who was kind enough to give me a ‘tour’, which revealed David Overton has taken Cheesecake Factory to a level without peer. Everything is prepared fresh, including 136 sauces. With a menu in excess of 200 items and a back of the house compromised by building limitations, everything sang!  You could feel the energy and pride among the cooking staff online which carried into the small prep area. I mentioned Friday’s departure form the ‘culinary world’ because of the degree of difficulty. I was told that there had been a new VP that wanted to reduce the number of scratch sauces due to the degree of difficulty and ended his career, with that statement!

Friday’s achieved exceptional sales without advertising or discounting in any form.  David has taken this to a whole new level, as well. The store I just visited does $18 mililon in sales.  All of his stores set record volumes ever year without advertising. I will let you know how our beliefs and standards match up but I’ll bet they do.

Excellence comes with a degree of difficulty  but excellence = energy and pride of accomplishment and.. and…the list is endless.


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I now have a current view of the worlds obesity problem. First, there is no secret that it is very pleasurable to eat. Second, no one forces you to eat, so it is a choice. Third, eating choices both volume and type effect body fat. Fourth, no one is keeping any of this a secret. Fifth, exercise is very important in maintaining health in general and weight specifically.

I have lost 15#’s so far and plan to lose another 15#’s in the near future. That was my original goal but after checking my closet I have some neat stuff that require another 5 to 10#’s. So, how am I doing this you ask? By following my fathers advice: “If you are fat it is because you eat too much and if you are not hungry you are not losing weight!” As a chef most of his life he had first hand experience.

Conclusion: if you want to use Weight Watchers, Atkins or any of the organized helps, that cool, but it still comes down to my fathers advice with a little self control thrown in. So please don’t blame McDonalds or Lays, I sure don’t blame all those snacks that attacked me while I skipped my exercise and blimped up! I’ll blog when I reach my goal, no pictures please, I still haven’t figured out the other aging tell tales!

The government will soon becoming out with a new department to oversee that we eat healthy and exercise, so if you ignore my fathers, advice they will be around and help?



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We caught about as much fresh seafood as we could use everywhere we traveled but some of the best was in Alaska! The big disadvantage was no Scuba Diving! Here you see me with our underwater television camera equiped with a 100′ cable. Just a beautiful sub-surface but too damn cold to dive.

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What do these three tags have in common? Discussion tomorrow.



TOMORROW: These are reminder tags for customer service. MPH is Mariano’s in Dallas, reminder to ‘make people happy’, OMG is Friday’s UK’s, that while serving millions of guest a year that each one counts thus ‘one memorable guest. The granddaddy is the plus,  – minus – zero – theory I used at Friday’s. So what’s the big deal? In spite of the huge return on effort, it is the exception to find and receive exceptional customer service. I have seen the excellent results of these three reminders but for each one of these three I have seen thousands that are just empty reminders. One of the biggest mysteries of business is WHY? We address this question in Triceptive. 

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image imageimageimageimageWOW….what a project! 

I have daughters that cross the spectrum from the Boomer, X and Y generations. In fact, I have grandchildren who are smack dab in the middle of the Y generation. I have managed large numbers of people from each of these generations. I have read everything I can get my hands on and listened carefully to business leaders and past associates views.  Most importantly I have talked to representatives of each generation. Finally, I have finished writing my thoughts and advice on this topic. Don’t you just love book teases!!!!


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A problem for governments and businesses alike is non-productive work, or busy work. Sweat is often confused with productivity. A cluttered desk, long hours, even dedication can be confused with results. We devote a major focus in the book to process vs results. Today my research yielded a startling new example of process (non-productive work)  robbing a business of productivity and therefore the ability fairly care for employees and customers alike. I have no way of putting a full measure to how much human effort is consumed in process that  is of no real value. Waste profits no one!



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