TGI Fridays CEO Steps Down

TGI Fridays | Image by Kaesler Media, Shutterstock

Dallas-based restaurant chain TGI Fridays went through an executive leadership shakeup last week.

The iconic bar and grill company announced on Thursday, May 18, that Ray Blanchette stepped down from the CEO position and was replaced by the company’s chairman of the board, Rohit Manocha, who will hold the post until a permanent CEO is chosen.

Besides serving as chairman for TGI Fridays, Rohit Manocha is also the co-founder of TriArtisan Capital Advisors, a New York-based private equity investment firm with extensive holdings in the restaurant and hospitality industry, including P.F. Chang’s, Hooters, and Creating Culinary Communities. The firm also happens to be the lead investor in TGI Fridays.

“We are deeply grateful for Mr. Blanchette’s contributions over the last several years,” said Manocha in a news release. “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors, and we look forward to building on the legacy he has left to take Fridays to new heights.”

TGI Fridays plans to institute a new phase of revitalization, innovation, and value creation by focusing on growth and maintaining relevance with today’s consumers, according to the news release. To date, the TGI Fridays brand operates 700 restaurants in 52 countries.

“Under Ray’s leadership, the brand’s performance has improved, and he built a strong operating culture that will carry us forward as we pursue new territories,” said Manocha. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of our team members, Fridays is well positioned for success as we look toward the future.”

During Blanchette’s five years as CEO, he led the brand through a successful turnaround that included both national and global growth. He also navigated the brand through the turbulent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last September, with Blanchette at the helm, the company made a major deal, which included the creation of 75 new restaurants throughout South and Southeast Asia over the next 10 years. The deal is estimated to bring in more than $500 million in revenue.

While Manocha serves as interim CEO, a global executive search firm will hunt for a permanent replacement, with both internal and external candidates under consideration.

The Dallas Express reached out to the media relations team for TGI Fridays for more details about the leadership change but did not hear back by press time.

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