T.G.I. Friday’s, a chain of casual restaurants that have become a staple in American culture, announced this week that they will be closing 36 underperforming locations across the U.S.
The closures are part of a decision by T.G.I. Friday’s parent company, Briad Group, to “modernize the brand.” While the company has not released a list of which locations will be shuttering, it’s expected that the impacted restaurants will be scattered across the country.
In a statement, Briad Group CEO Brent Tucker said, “T.G.I. Friday’s is a beloved brand with decades of deep-rooted history. However, in today’s competitive restaurant landscape, it is necessary for us to make difficult decisions to ensure our business is operating efficiently and effectively. This decision to partner with our franchisees to close select restaurants will enhance the Friday’s experience in the U.S. and improve the brand’s overall position.”
As the restaurant industry becomes increasingly crowded, T.G.I. Friday’s is the latest company to take steps to remain competitive. In recent months, several chains have implemented cost-cutting measures, such as Arby’s positioning itself as a delivery-only restaurant, Wendy’s CEO giving himself a steep pay cut, and Chick-fil-A’s closure of two of its dining rooms in response to the pandemic.
As for the 36 T.G.I. Friday’s locations, while the restaurants will close, Tucker assured customers that the chain’s commitment to providing excellent quality food and exceptional service will remain the same. He said, “Our guests can expect to continue to experience the same enthusiasm and craveable dishes they have come to love and enjoy.”
The closures come as a reminder of the deep-seated impact the restaurant industry continues to feel as it attempts to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and serves to emphasize the need for restaurants to remain agile and flexible in the face of change.