Skip to main content

TGI Fridays Found to Sell Colored Rubbing Alcohol as Scotch in Undercover Sting

After many New Jersey residents complained that local bars might be deceiving them by watering down their alcohol, state officials conducted an undercover investigation and revealed startling results.

Called Operation Swill, officials went to many bars around the state and ordered "neat" drinks (without ice or any mixers) to test. 

They found that there were 29 bars and restaurants, including TGI Fridays, that substituted cheap alcohol for expensive alcohol, switching the liquid in the bottles to deceive customers. 

But there was one restaurant, a TGI Fridays, that took it a step further by selling rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring and acting as if it were scotch.

In all, they collected 1,000 open bottles of vodka, gin, rum, scotch, whiskey and tequila from the wells of the bars. 

Attorney General jeffrey Chiesa said, "This alleged scheme is a dishonest ruse to increase profits and is a slap in the face of the consumer."

The restaurants and bars have a week to turn in records to help state authorities find out how much they overcharged their customers for the deceiving alcohol.

They also have to turn in records that show what people were working when the alcohol was served.

TGI Fridays is owned by The Briad Group, who released a statement saying it was troubled by the allegations.

"We want every assurance possible that our guests can continue to feel confident in the great food and drink they order at our TGI Friday's restaurants," Rick Barbrick, president of The Briad Restaurant Group, said.

With the help of an informant with knowledge of the industry, officials were able to investigate 63 establishments they suspected were scamming customers.

Those who were found to be deceitful may face suspension of their liquor licenses and revocations.

Sources: Daily Mail, CBS


Popular Video