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TGI Fridays to Shift to Mostly Franchised Model

Causal-dining chain hopes to sell most of its 247 company-owned locations during the next 18 months.

TGI Fridays has launched a refranchising initiative designed to accelerate the growth and re-imaging of the casual dining chain's restaurant portfolio. Over the next 18 months, TGI Fridays expects to franchise most of its 247 company-owned and operated locations in the U.S. to experienced franchise operators, allowing the casual dining concept to focus its efforts on brand innovation, marketing and supporting brand execution, according to a company release.

The initiative allows potential and current franchisees to purchase groups of restaurants in exchange for a commitment to an accelerated timetable for re-imaging existing locations and construction of new ones. Since Fridays kicked off its reimaging campaign 2 years ago, 93 restaurants have been updated.

"This new structure is a natural step in the evolution of the Fridays brand, and is in full alignment with our broader strategic plan," said TGI Fridays President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Shepherd. "It's important to note that we're only franchising our corporate restaurants to owners with a proven track record of success and excellence, and who have a clear passion for our brand and our people."