SINCE 1988

TGI Fridays Closing 36 U.S. Locations, Sells 8 Restaurants to Former CEO


TGI Fridays has agreed to sell eight corporate-owned restaurants in the Northeast to former CEO Ray Blanchette, the company said Wednesday, and said it would close 36 underperforming locations domestically.

Dallas-based Fridays said it would close the 36 underperforming locations in select markets across the U.S. as part of its ongoing strategy. It did not identify the locations to be shuttered. A company spokesperson said Fridays has 233 domestic restaurants, including 104 corporate stores and 129 franchised units.

As for the eight-unit sale, the company said in a statement: “Blanchette brings an unmatched understanding of the TGI Fridays business and the restaurant’s commitment to delivering excellence for guests. Following the finalization of the sale, Blanchette will lead the locations into a new phase of revitalization.”

The eight stores being sold to Blanchette include: six in Massachusetts (Braintree, Boston/Brigham, Everett, Methuen, Millbury and Stoughton) and two in New Hampshire (Concord and Manchester).

Blanchette, who served as CEO of TGI Fridays for five years, stepped down from the position in May.

In October, Friday’s appointed of Weldon Spangler as CEO, Ray Risley as U.S. president and chief operating officer, and Nik Rupp as president and COO of international and chief financial officer.

“As we continue along our path of transformation to revitalize the Fridays brand and implement a long-term growth strategy, we see a bright future for TGI Fridays,” said Spangler, CEO of TGI Fridays, in a statement.

TGI Fridays said as part of the 36 closures, the company was offering more than 1,000 transfer opportunities, which covered more than 80% of the impacted employees.

“Our top priority has always been delivering a superior experience for each and every TGI Fridays guest, and we’ve identified opportunities to optimize and streamline our operations to ensure we are best positioned to meet — and exceed — on that brand promise,” said Risley in a statement. “By strengthening our franchise model and closing underperforming stores, we are creating an unprecedented opportunity for Fridays to drive forward its vision for the future.”

Fridays has more than 650 restaurants in 51 countries.


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