TGI Friday’s - Burgerfest
TGI Friday's takes part in this weekend’s Burgerfest
Last year may have been the first edition of Burgerfest, but it’s not the only festival to celebrate American cuisine in Prague. Put together by Helena Šochmanová, restaurant sales manager for TGI Friday’s and Planet Sushi, Taste of America has been going for the past three years and is where the initial concept of Burgerfest was birthed. Together with Zed she has helped organise this weekend’s Burgerfest.
“I met Zed at my previous job,” says Helena. “ Few months later when started to work for Rosinter Group - TGI Friday’s and Planet Sushi restaurant chain, I was surprised by how well known TGI’s was on the local market. I got in contact with the US Embassy and created Taste of America featuring 15 American style restaurants.”
A month long festival with vouchers available online and special prices at restaurants serving American meals, 2013 was its third year. Backed by the US Embassy it aims to introduce the diversity of American cuisine to Czech people, showing them it’s more than just fast food.
“Zed left meanwhile his previous job too and and opened Bejzment. He basically wanted to do Taste of America but outside so came up with the idea of Burgerfest. We sat down together and called everyone up to get involved.
According to Helena burgers are now the biggest seller on the Czech food market and with lots of new places opening up based on them; it was the perfect time to start a festival around them. The ongoing popularity of burgers can be seen across most of Eastern Europe, not just the Czech Republic.
She was at Burgerfest with the TGI Friday’s stall last year and admits to underestimating how popular it was going to be. Six stalls sold over 4,500 burgers in two days which far exceeded her predictions.
“I thought every restaurant would sell about 150 burgers each last year. We sold 250 in the first two and a half hours and were completely sold out, so we had to close because unlike the other restaurants which were making their burgers there, ours were ordered in beforehand.”
This year they won’t be making the same mistake, especially due to the central location and greater number of restaurants expected to draw in an even larger crowd. Unlike most of the other stalls though, they won’t be cutting down their burger sizes to allow customers to try more as all the burgers they have are made earlier for the restaurant.
“It is more about advertising for us, to bring our product to the people,” she continues. “We are not there to make money but bring our product to wider public, give them chance to taste the real America! We will have a Black Angus burger, Jack Daniels Black Angus burger and a chicken burger, all 200g exactly as you get in the restaurant.
TGI Friday’s are still out to win however, and defend their crown after they received the award for best quality burger at last year’s event. If that’s not enough to tempt people in, everybody who buys a burger from them at Burgerfest gets a free 200 CZK voucher to spend at the restaurant.
Check out their website: http://www.tgifridays.cz/en/
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