Meet T.G.I. Friday’s World Bartender Champion
T.G.I. Friday’s is raising a glass to celebrate David Kringlund from Stureplan, Sweden who was crowned the World’s Greatest Bartender in the 21st annual World Bartender Championship (WBC) in Dallas.
David’s knowledge of mixology, crowd-pleasing energy and ability to pour the perfect mixed drink secured the title. More than 8,000 Friday’s bartenders from around the world competed in a series of local and regional events leading up to the final showdown, which pit nine finalists against one another competing for the crown.
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Along with over 1,000 spectators, multi-platinum recording artist Enrique Iglesias was on site enjoying the thrill of the competition and the skill of Friday’s bartenders as one was crowned and awarded the $10,000 prize. Iglesias was on hand to introduce two new drinks featuring ATLANTICO Rum, available at Friday’s later this year.
“This entire competition has been an exciting challenge and a phenomenal ride,” said David (pictured above, left). “Hours of training and preparation paid off not just with this win, but with the total experience that made me feel more a part of the Friday’s family.”
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David wasn’t the only one to take home honors. Sir Raminad “Ram” Ong (pictured above, right) of the Philippines was named T.G.I. Friday’s Fan Favorite. More than 300,000 Friday’s fans cast their vote through the World Bartender Championship website. Making his second appearance in the WBC Finals, Ram has served up that Friday feeling to guests for more than four years.
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“We are always impressed by the talent that comes through this competition from all corners of the world,” said Trey Hall, chief marketing officer for T.G.I. Friday’s. “Anyone can learn to mix a good drink, but our bartenders – David in particular – have that extra something that ensures anyone seated around the bar will feel Friday’s infectious energy.”
Friday’s bartenders from 60 countries were represented in this year’s World Bartender Championship. After competing in a variety of skills tests, compulsory and speed rounds, the competition culminated in a freestyle showcase in Dallas. It was announced Monday, Feb. 27.