It’s funny how some things come full circle. Over six years ago, to celebrate TGI Fridays’ 25th anniversary in the UK, we embarked on arranging a Guinness World Records™ title to celebrate the skill and passion of its world-class bartenders. This saw over 100 bartenders setting the record for ‘The most people simultaneously cocktail flaring’ in Covent Garden in March 2011.
It was a huge achievement for the brand – which has gone from strength to strength in the UK, opening 30 new restaurants since that momentous day.
It was, however, a huge logistical operation, taking well over six months to plan. It was with some trepidation then, that nine days ahead of the brands’ 2017 conference, we were told that one of its best bartenders was confident he could break another Guinness world record – and that Fridays wanted him to do it at the event.
With the words ‘I’m not going to lie – a lot of planning and work will need to take place ahead of the attempt’ from Guinness ringing in my ears, we set into motion a whirlwind week-and-a-half of logistical operations, as we set about working with Guinness to arrange for Fridays bartender, Kovacs Gyorgy, to attempt to break the record for ‘most flips of a bottle on the back of the hand in one minute’.
Preparations weren’t helped when we were informed that instead of 30 spins – as we were originally told were required to break the record – Kovacs actually needed to achieve over 108.
No pressure then…
Posted by TGI Fridays UK on Tuesday, 14 February 2017
But as always at 3 Monkeys Zeno, the team rose to the task and after several late nights, the stage was literally set for Kovacs to make the attempt. The crowd went quiet, the lights dimmed, and a sense of communal apprehension overtook the hundreds of people watching at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.
Kovacs had three chances to break the record…could he do it? Well the answer was a resounding ‘yes’. Not only did he beat the record, he absolutely smashed it, clocking up an almost unfathomable 146 spins in a minute. At the end, once the previous record was surpassed, Kovacs went into overdrive, notching up around four spins a second.
The crowd went crazy and the team let out a massive sigh of relief, knowing all our hard work wasn’t wasted. And that Google Alert from six years ago that I never got around to cancelling for ‘TGI Fridays Guinness World Record’ came in handy once again, as the coverage rolled in, with our first hit being not one but two fantastic pieces on Mail Online.
But whilst we put a lot of work into setting up the record in a turnaround that Guinness themselves said was ‘one of the quickest ever’ – all the praise really needs to go to Kovacs and the 11 years of practice he put in to become the best bottle spinner on the planet. He did Fridays, us and himself proud.
Check out the video for yourself – this guy’s got some skills.