Dallas restaurant brand TGI Fridays has sold eight of its stores to former chief executive officer Ray Blanchette, the company announced.
“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,” CEO Weldon Spangler said in the press release. “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.”
For months, the company has undergone a rebranding that’s included Spangler’s appointment and the hiring of two other executives, The Dallas Express previously reported. The corporate-owned restaurants the company sold are in the Northeast, and it plans to close 36 others in unidentified markets.
“With a history of deep involvement and unwavering confidence in the Fridays brand, Mr. 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,” reads the press release.
TGI Fridays attributed the planned closures in other markets to “underperforming locations” and said the company is offering more than 1,000 transfer opportunities, representing over 80% of its impacted workforce.
“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,” Ray Risley, U.S. president and chief operating officer, said.
“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,” he added.
Owned by TriArtisan Advisors Capital of New York, TGI Fridays operates almost 700 restaurants around the world, including one on Belt Line Road in Dallas.