Posts Tagged T.G.I. Friday’s

Theories & Philosophies – A Lifetime Legacy

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My life has taken me from church pulpit to sailboat cockpit. I delivered my first sermon to an audience of 500 before I was old enough to drive. I learned to read the New Testament  in the original Koine Greek language and spent the summer between my sophomore and junior college years as minister of a church while the full time minister was on sabbatical. My sailing experience has taken me to many continents and exotic destinations, including, ports of call in the Mediterranean, Athens, Istanbul, Galapagos Islands and Alaska. I have sailed the equivalence of six times around the world including crossing the Atlantic and transiting the Panama Canal both three times. Pulpit to cockpit are the book ends to my business career at Boise Cascade and the founding of T.G.I. Friday’s Inc.

While I no longer practice a religion my early exposure has had a profound influence on my life. Certainly my values and my penchant to apply those values to business. The teaching method of metaphors and analogies obviously comes from this background. I became legendary both at Boise Cascade and Friday’s for my theories and philosophies and the metaphors I used to teach them. The ‘beach ball’, ‘steel pole’, ‘three styles of management’, ‘magic moment’, and many more were created during my decade long career at Boise Cascade. I continued to develop my repertoire and adapt it at Friday’s and while writing the book but they all owe their origins to my roots and now the added dimension of the lessons learned at sea.

It is flattering to see so many of these theories in common use on the internet. There are cartoon versions, flash card versions, one lady has a complete blog on the ‘beach ball theory’ and a hospitality consultant uses the ‘success syndrome’ and ‘four walls’ theories to start his web page. My attorney told me an arbitration class he took used the ‘beach ball theory’ to illustrate several approaches to arbitration. It is not surprising when you think about the wide dispersal of these theories through the managers we trained for the industry. We used to laugh when we saw the training manuals of other restaurant companies with our name just barely whited out.

We supplied the industry with more than just these training theories. Boise Cascade was on the cutting edge of the computing age. Wow! We had one of the first IBM 360’s. As part of the executive team I was sent to  IBM’s school in Poughkeepsie, New York. The basic message taught was, “LEAVE THE NERDS ALONE!”. Operationally, however, we did effectively use this new tool to develop  controls for all aspects of our business. I converted manufacturing controls to the controls for the  restaurant industry and many of these concepts, forms and controls are still in use today. It is amazing the impact we had.  The tools for free pouring bar operations are still on sale.  The diary we kept of daily  store operations, called ‘The Red Book’ must have inspired a product you can buy on Amazon, which looks exactly like what we used is called the ‘FRIDAY MEMORANDUM BOOK’. These are just the tip of the iceberg but the proudest legacy are the ‘Alumni’ that still use and cherish the values they learned from their Friday’s experience; they ‘Bleed Red & White!’

 

 

 

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SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

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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.

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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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Antique Canoe Dealer

 

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For Sale but not by me

I needed business cards because I was tired of writing all my information on scraps of paper. Our training company, when fully developed, will operate under the name of TriCept, LLC. So we have a name and logo for the card but I still needed a title. With a little tongue in cheek, Casper suggested the title of “‘Antique Canoe Dealer.”

Why is that so funny? Well, it the only reference that can be found of my existence in the T.G.I. Friday’s website. If you haven’t heard, I founded Friday’s. But even better than that, I invented Potato Skins!  Personally, I think it’s rather humorous and speaks volumes that I’m considered a world-renowned Antique Canoe Dealer. Frankly, I wouldn’t bring it up here but I have been handing out a lot of business cards  and didn’t want to start getting orders for antique canoes!

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Dan Scoggin
www.fridaysfounder.com

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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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