TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — An operator of TGI Fridays restaurants in New Jersey has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for serving customers cheap booze when they paid for top shelf.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said Wednesday that the fine levied against Livingston-based Briad Group, as a result of an investigation dubbed Operation Swill, should send a message to every bar and restaurant in the state that customers should always get what they pay for.
Under terms of the settlement, Briad agreed not to contest charges that eight of its restaurants were selling customers cheap substitutes in place of premium alcohol. It also agreed to employ a state-appointed monitor through June 14 to ensure its restaurants and employees are in compliance.
As long as there are no further violations during that period, the businesses will avoid five-day suspensions of their liquor licenses, the attorney general said.
The fine includes $400,000 for the violations and $100,000 to cover investigative costs.
The Briad Group issued a statement saying it had cooperated fully in the investigation, initiated new training programs and “redoubled our efforts to ensure that all of our restaurants adhere to Fridays’ extensive bar and beverage standards.”