A top TGI Friday's franchisee will pay $500,000 after claims that it refilled bottles of premium booze with cheap swill. The Briad Group operated restaurants raided by New Jersey officials in May, during which some 250 bottles were seized. From the New Jersey Attorney General:
The operation focused on 29 establishments because of information from confidential informants, consumer complaints and testing of samples conducted by both the ABC and the manufacturers of the brands. The samples were taken in January and February when ABC investigators visited 63 licensed establishments across the state and covertly took 150 samples. The undercover ABC detectives visited these establishments and secured samples of premium brand spirits by paying for drinks ordered “neat” – that is with no ice or mixer. Some of the locations visited had previous complaints against them, and some were chosen at random. The investigation remains ongoing with respect to the other establishments targeted in “Operation Swill.”