CARROLLTON, Texas - September 26, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - TGI Fridays™, the world's leading casual dining bar and grill, today announced the launch of a refranchising initiative designed to accelerate the growth and re-imaging of the brand's restaurant portfolio. Following completion of this program, TGI Fridays expects to franchise most of its 247 company-owned and operated locations in the U.S. to highly-experienced franchise operators.
"It's important to note that we're only franchising our corporate restaurants to owners with a proven track record of success and excellence, and who have a clear passion for our brand and our people."
Potential and current franchisees will be offered the opportunity to purchase groups of restaurants in exchange for a commitment to an accelerated timetable for restaurant re-imaging and construction of new restaurants. Two years ago, Fridays began a nationwide re-imaging program to renovate existing restaurants with a new contemporary design that's fresh, modern and engaging. To date, 93 restaurants have been reimaged in the U.S., driving incremental guest traffic, sales and profitability in each location.
"This new structure is a natural step in the evolution of the Fridays brand, and is in full alignment with our broader strategic plan," said TGI Fridays President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Shepherd. "It's important to note that we're only franchising our corporate restaurants to owners with a proven track record of success and excellence, and who have a clear passion for our brand and our people."
Franchising will enable the company to fully focus its efforts on brand innovation, marketing and supporting brand execution in order to continue delivering the Fridays promise to its guests, employees and stakeholders.
Over the past few months, TGI Fridays has negotiated two 20+ store refranchising transactions – one to an existing Fridays franchisee, the other to a very experienced multi-store operator. Both transactions are expected to be completed over the next 60 days. Fridays continues to seek experienced multi-unit franchise partners, capable of re-imaging and developing new Fridays restaurants across the company's U.S. store portfolio.
Fridays has engaged with the Cypress Group, a leading expert in franchising and restaurant sales, to assist with its refranchising efforts. Fridays expects the entire refranchising program to be completed in an 18-month timeframe, depending on market and other variable conditions.
Founded in New York City in 1965, TGI Fridays, jointly owned by Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners, operates over 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries. As the original casual dining bar and grill, Fridays offers authentic American food and legendary drinks, served with genuine personal service. Bringing people together to socialize and celebrate the freeing and liberating spirit of "Friday" was the concept's founding premise, from which the brand promise "In Here, It's Always Friday" was born. For more information, visit www.fridays.com.