TGI Fridays may have found a surprising solution to its struggling business

TGI Fridays may have found a surprising solution to its struggling business
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TGI Fridays closed 36 restaurants in the US on January 3.

  • TGI Fridays has struggled recently, closing dozens of restaurants earlier this year.
  • But the company said it’s seeing new success at “travel- and tourism-focused destinations.”
  • A TGI Fridays opened at a hotel in Holywood this week and an airport location is one of its busiest.

TGI Fridays says it is leaning into the travel industry to regain its footing with American diners.

The casual dining chain announced this week that it opened a new restaurant inside the Hilton Garden Inn in Hollywood. That might not seem revelatory on the surface, but the company called the new hotel-based restaurant “core to the brand’s transformation strategy.”

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TGI Fridays has struggled to remain relevant with its domestic consumers in recent years. The chain suffered an 18% decline in domestic systemwide sales in 2023, The Dallas Morning News reported. And it closed 36 “underperforming” restaurants earlier this year.

The company now hopes focusing on the travel industry can turn things around.

“The new restaurant opening comes as TGI Fridays continues to see dominance across travel- and tourism-focused destinations, including airports, hotels, and casinos,” the press release said.

TGI Fridays referenced the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, where it opened a newly renovated restaurant in July last year. That location is on track to become the “highest volume sales location of any US airport restaurant,” the company says.

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T.G.I Friday's restaurant in New York.
TGI Fridays.

The chief development officer at TGI Fridays said the success presents a tangible opportunity for growth.

“Whether domestic or international, leisure or business, we’re seeing travelers gravitate to the familiar comfort of the beloved and iconic Fridays brand while they’re on the road and away from home,” Chris Devlin said in the press release.

There are almost 600 TGI Fridays restaurants across the globe.

TGI Fridays has undergone several leadership changes since May 2023, when Ray Blanchette stepped down as CEO. Brandon Coleman III took over the position that August but resigned and was replaced by Weldon Spangler in November 2023.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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