TGI Fridays abruptly closes 36 restaurants across US

TGI Fridays has abruptly closed 36 of its restaurants across the U.S., saying they were “underperforming.” 

The company shared the news in a press release, where it also announced a shakeup to its leadership team and the sale of eight previously corporate-owned restaurants back to its former CEO Ray Blanchette.

TGI Fridays said it is “executing an era of transformation,” claiming the store closures were part of its growth strategy.

“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 CEO Weldon Spangler in a 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 employees impacted by the closures, TGI Fridays is offering over 1,000 transfer opportunities, representing 80% of impacted staff members.

Fridays did not list which locations would be shutting down, but local station WFAA reported that New Jersey had the most closures with seven, followed by Massachusetts with six, New York with five and Texas and Virginia with four each. There were also store closures in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

The stores that were shut down Tuesday each had signage posted outside with similar language.

“We regret to inform you that Fridays has made the difficult decision to close our doors at Corpus Christi effective January 2, 2024,” read a sign at a now-closed location, according to WFAA. “Unfortunately, we do not have a nearby location, but look for us in airports and other cities across the country.”

The two remaining locations in Colorado — Denver and Longmont — were shut down as part of the closings.