An operator of a number of TGI Fridays restaurants in New Jersey has agreed to pay a $500,000 charge for serving customers cheap alcohol when they were paying for top shelf booze. The Associated Press reported on July 31, 2013, that the TGI Fridays was raided and fined as part of an Operation Swill to seek out those scamming consumers.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said on Wednesday that this should send a big-time message to all other New Jersey restaurants and bars. The TGI Fridays being fined is showing other businesses that customers need to always get what they paid for.
The fine was levied against the Livingston-based Briad Group, and group can not contest the charges under the settlement agreement.
Charges state that eight of the Briad’s restaurants were selling cheap alcohol substitutes to its customers in place of the premium alcohol they were ordering. A state-appointed monitor has been put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again anytime soon.
The $500,000 that TGI Fridays was fined is broken down into $400,000 for the violations and then $100,000 for investigative costs.
The 29 establishments charged had different combinations of cheaper alcohol that they would sell to customers including:
- Rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch
- Premium liquor bottles were refilled with water that wasn’t even clean
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