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T.G.I. Friday's

National restaurant chain.

4201 Marsh Lane
Carrolton, TX 75007
Employees: 70,000+
CEO: Nick Shepherd
Privately held

Website: http://www.tgifridays.com

Career Site

T.G.I. Friday's is one of the largest restaurant chains in the nation. The Carlson Company announced in May 2014 it will sell the chain to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

There are over 900 T.G.I. Friday's branded restaurants in 60 countries worldwide which includes includes T.G.I. Friday's, Friday's Front Row Sports Grill and Friday's American Bar. There are 566 restaurants in the U.S. in 44 states including 275 company-operated, 281 franchised and 10 licensed locations. There are 352 international restaurants.

T.G.I. Friday's is known for serving drinks, platters and dinners featuring steak, seafood and ribs in a fun environment. The chain has over 8,000 skilled bartenders.

The entire chain had $2.7 billion in revenue in 2013.

Loaded Potato Skins are the most popular appetizer in the chain along with the Jack Daniel's grilled entrees.

Sentinel, who will be TGI Fridays’ majority shareholder, has extensive restaurant and franchising investment experience and a demonstrated ability to create successful independent businesses through complex corporate carve outs. Sentinel has completed numerous acquisitions of both franchisors and franchisees, including Checkers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of dual drive-thru hamburger QSRs in the United States; Newk’s Eatery, a rapidly growing fast-casual concept in the Southeast United States; Falcon Holdings, the largest franchisee of Church's Chicken restaurants; Huddle House, a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast; Massage Envy, the nation’s largest provider and franchisor of therapeutic massage and spa services; and Southern California Pizza Company, a 223-unit Pizza Hut franchisee operating in the greater Los Angeles market.


The first T.G.I. Friday's restaurant was founded by Alan Stillman and opened in 1965. The restaurant was located at First Avenue and 63rd Street in New York City. It featured red and white stripes, a blue exterior and its name -- T.G.I. Friday's. Inside were wooden floors, Tiffany-style lamps, bentwood chairs and striped tablecloths. The bar area, with its brass rails and stained glass, contributed to the classic ambiance. To obtain the signature T.G.I. Friday's interior décor, a full-time antique "picker" traveled extensively to auctions and flea markets. Memorabilia had to be authentic and, if possible, unique to the area where the new restaurant was located. In a Nashville warehouse, this "clutter" was restored before being loaded on a truck bound for the next T.G.I. Friday's restaurant opening.

The New York T.G.I. Friday's location enjoyed immediate and spectacular success. First year revenues totaled $1 million. The Upper East Side Manhattan restaurant had become THE meeting place for single adults. In fact, according to Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post, the opening of T.G.I. Friday's restaurant heralded the dawn of the singles age.

Friday's restaurants have a long history of innovation, including being credited with:
- Naming 'happy hour'.
- Inventing the Long Island Iced Tea and Loaded Potato Skins.
- Popularizing frozen and ice cream drinks.
- Pioneering non-alcoholic Smoothies and Flings in honor of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Over the past 40 years, Friday's restaurants have served over 191 million guests.

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent company of TGI Friday's Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries.

In 2008, the company introduced Give Me More Stripes, a frequent customer loyalty program which was a first for the industry.


Benefits offered to restaurant employees depending on full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) status:

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) - A Company paid benefit of $4,000, if enrolled in the Medical Plan.
Credit Union - Savings or loans through easy payroll deductions.
Dental Plan - FT - Two plan offerings, for you and your eligible dependents, including orthodontic care.  
Dependent Care Spending Account - All - You can elect to set aside up to $5,000, through pre-tax payroll deductions, to pay for eligible dependent care expenses.
Disability, Short and/or Long Term (Voluntary) - FT - Plan coverage for a medical disability.
Education Funding Program - All - Assistance in education planning and support as well as information regarding various private education financing programs.
401(k) Plan - All - After one year of service, elect to participate in this pre-tax savings plan that offers a company matching contribution and flexible investment options.
Health Care Spending Account - All - A pre-tax contribution plan (annual max $3,000) that covers health care expenses not otherwise reimbursable under the medical plans.  
Leaves of Absence - FT - Because the Company cares, various leaves such as medical, family, personal, etc. are available to you.
Legal Solution Plan - FT - Through payroll deduction, this program provides legal assistance with simple wills, debt or traffic matters, personal injury, etc.
Life Insurance - FT - A Company paid benefit of $4,000, if enrolled in the Medical Plan.
Life Universal (Voluntary) - FT - A portable insurance policy that you own.
Meals, Discounted - All - A 25% dining discount upon hire and 50% after 3 years of service at any  Company or participating franchise restaurant. 
Medical Plan - FT - Two health care plan options to choose from, to meet you and your family's health care needs; includes pharmacy benefits.
Parking/Transit Spending Accounts - All - Pre-tax payroll deductions to pay for your work transportation expenses such as public parking, passes, tokens, farecards, etc.
Passport Program - FT After 6 months of service and certain other eligibility requirements, employees can work in other restaurants while travelling the country.
Payroll Deposit, Automatic - All - Your paychecks can be deposited automatically to your bank account at no extra cost to you.
Tuition Reimbursement - FT - After 90 days of service, the company will reimburse up to $1,000 per year (based on grades) for college courses.
Vacation - FT - One, two, three or four weeks of vacation depending on anniversary date.  
Vision Care Plan - FT - Discounted coverage for a wide range of services such as eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses, etc.

Updated May 30, 2014