Carlson Restaurants Announces Plans to Double the Number of T.G.I. Friday's Restaurants
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Carlson Restaurants Announces Plans to Double the Number of T.G.I. Friday's Restaurants

DALLAS, March 25, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- At its 2011 Global Business Conference last week in Dallas, Texas, Carlson Restaurants, parent of T.G.I. Friday's®, announced plans to double the number of T.G.I. Friday's restaurants globally.

"With the strength of our Friday's brand, our management team and our franchise partners, we are uniquely positioned to dramatically increase the footprint of our business," announced Nick Shepherd, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants.

Shepherd unveiled the company's strategic plan, Ambition 2015, to an audience of more than 1,400 company employees, franchisees, lenders and key suppliers. Focusing on its ambition to become the restaurant, employer and investment of choice by 2015, the company outlined detailed plans to accelerate growth over the next five years, and to use that growth as a springboard to achieve its long-term goal of doubling the footprint of the T.G.I. Friday's brand around the world.

"Our foundation for growth is an organization-wide focus on enhancing all elements of the guest experience,'' said Shepherd.

Central to that experience is Friday's unique promise to its guests of "In Here it's ALWAYS Friday". To reinforce its brand promise, Friday's has embarked on an innovation program focused on its menu, service delivery and marketing. This focus has led T.G.I. Friday's 2010 performance to be among the industry leaders. For the year, Friday's outpaced the casual dining market in the United States by 1.6% as measured by Knapp Track. The company's international performance was especially impressive during 2010 delivering a 3.2% increase in comparable sales (local currency results for restaurants open at least 12 months) while opening 30 restaurants across its international markets and being on track to open nearly 40 new restaurants in 2011.

"Our performance during 2010 underscores the strength of the Friday's brand and the tremendous growth opportunity we have, based on the significant and unique connection we have with our guests around the world," said Shepherd.

T.G.I. Friday's is already the casual dining leader internationally with more than 350 restaurants in 60 countries outside the United States.

"T.G.I. Friday's is a powerful and iconic brand," said Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer of Carlson, parent of Carlson Restaurants. "It has outstanding growth opportunities in the United States and internationally, and we are keen to pursue these opportunities."

About T.G.I. Friday's

T.G.I. Friday's offers a unique, casual experience delivering on its brand promise of "In Here it's ALWAYS Friday" melding authentic and imaginative American food, exciting and innovative drinks and a one of a kind service experience to provide liberation from the everyday -- turning any day into a FRIDAY! It is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, nearly 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World." As the original casual dining restaurant, Friday's delights guests in more than 900 restaurants across more than 60 countries around the globe. For more information, visit

About Carlson

T.G.I. Friday's is part of Carlson, a family-owned, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson(SM), Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 170,000 people. For more information, visit

SOURCE Carlson



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