Lee Sanders Tapped as President of Franchising for T.G.I. Friday's(R) USA

CARROLLTON, Texas // PRNewswire // -- After an extensive search process, Nick Shepherd, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, named Lee Sanders as president of franchising for T.G.I. Friday's USA and a member of the Carlson Restaurants Worldwide executive team.

In his new role, Sanders will lead all aspects of the T.G.I. Friday's USA franchise program, including day-to-day operations and support, with specific emphasis on growing revenues, profitability and the scale of the current franchise system.

Sanders joins Friday's® directly from Johnny Rockets Inc., where he held the position of president and chief executive officer, responsible for the 280 unit chain and leading the company's expansion of both traditional and diverse locations such as military bases, theme parks and cruise ships. While at Johnny Rockets, Sanders delivered improvements in guest satisfaction, grew store revenues and improved company profitability. Prior to Johnny Rockets, he held a number of significant franchise leadership roles, including senior vice president development and franchising for Buffalo Wild Wings, national director of franchising for Dunkin Brands, Inc., and various leadership positions with General Mills, Inc.

"The addition of Lee to our executive team and our business is a huge win for us," said Shepherd. "He is a proven leader and brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to this new role. I look forward to having him on our team."

Sanders, who received his Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University, will be relocating to the Dallas area. His first day in his new position will be January 21.

With more than 900 restaurants in 60 countries, including approximately 600 restaurants in the U.S., T.G.I. Friday's offers great food, innovative drinks and a unique experience filled with flair and a Thank God It's Friday's™ attitude. Friday's authentic, engaging atmosphere makes it the perfect place to escape, socialize and connect with people while getting a rejuvenating second wind. Members of Give Me More Stripes®, Friday's guest recognition program, receive free stuff and special perks year-round. As the original casual dining restaurant, T.G.I. Friday's has a rich heritage which includes being credited with popularizing Happy Hour, Long Island Iced Tea and Loaded Potato Skins. T.G.I. Friday's is also famous for its flair bartenders, approximately 8000 of whom compete annually for the title of the "World's Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender."

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of TGI Friday's Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality and travel industries. As of January 2010, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries.

SOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's USA

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