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TGI Fridays Closing 36 Restaurants

Also selling 8 corporate-owned outlets to ex-CEO




PHOTOGRAPHY: Brett Hondow/

TGI Fridays (Dallas) has unveiled plans to close 36 underperforming stores as part of its ongoing effort to streamline and revitalize its operations. The chain of 600-plus casual bar-and-grills also announced the sale of eight previously corporate-owned restaurants in the Northeast to former CEO Ray Blanchette.

“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 Ray Risley, the restauranteur’s U.S. President and COO. “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.”

The closures and sale follow recent moves the company has taken to bolster its executive team, including the recent appointments of Weldon Spangler to CEO, Ray Risley to U.S. President and COO and Nik Rupp to President and COO of International and Chief Financial Officer. (The company has operations in 51 countries, including the U.S.)

“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. “We are at the helm of a pivotal moment that will allow us to explore boundless advancement, expansion, and innovation to keep delivering ‘That Fridays Feeling’ that our fans know and love.”



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