More Stories

20 Years of Service at T.G.I. Friday's

August 16, 2011

Through sun, sleet or even snow, nothing can stop Hal R.! When a blizzard nearly shut down New York City this past winter, many employees in the area called out of work, but not Hal. Despite the snow, Hal, who receives services from YAI, made it into his job on time — exhibiting the type of work ethic that has helped him celebrate 20 years on the job at T.G.I. Friday’s.

“Talk about a textbook, loyal employee,” said Adam Olsen, General Manager of Friday’s  46th Street location. “Hal is always looking out for others. He’s the guy who’ll ask ‘Adam, is there anything else you need? You can call me over the weekend!’” 


Hal has worked within the Fridays’ company for the past two decades and has been at the Times Square location since 2004, working as a liaison to their main office where he picks up and makes deliveries, answers the phones and makes copies.

It’s a job that has helped Hal develop a greater sense of independence.

“He’s got a lot more confidence now,” said Adam, who has known Hal since 1998. “He knows everybody in our main office. He’ll even say hello to the President and Chief Operating Officer of our company, Gary Primarchi, and will talk about the Mets with him.”

The T.G.I. Friday’s President was even part of Hal’s celebration for his 20 years of service to the company. Hal, his family and co-workers recently got the chance to honor Hal’s accomplishments and contributions at a company-sponsored celebration.

“For me, being a good employee is showing up on time, taking on responsibilities and being efficient,” Hal said. “It makes me feel really good to do good work.”

Hal’s independence has also been an important aspect of his involvement with YAI — especially when Hal was able to move earlier this year from a YAI group home to his own apartment at YAI’s Rosenthal Residence in Forest Hills.

“He’s an outstanding individual, very responsible, and someone who was ready to live more independently,” said Tony Sanchez, Senior Supervisor of the Rosenthal Residence. “He requires very little intervention from the staff. He does his own cooking, he does his own traveling, he goes to work every day on his own.”


Being able to work and live on his own has been an uplifting experience and source of pride for Hal.

“It means there’s money in my pocket and in my savings account,” he said. “And I can afford all these neat things, like going overseas. I went to Europe last year for one week on my own and visited Italy!”

“For me,” Hal added with a smile, “it’s just about having the freedom.”