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FDD Talk 2015: The TGI Fridays Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on September 7, 2015

in Casual-Dining Restaurant Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Restaurant Franchise



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T.G.I. Friday's Exterior Photo by UggBoyHeartUggGirl

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the TGI Fridays franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a TGI Fridays franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of TGI Fridays’ financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014 average sales, cost of sales, gross profit, labor cost, controllable operating expenses, profit after controllable expenses, management training expenses, marketing expenses, rent, other occupancy costs, and restaurant operating profit for company-owned TGI Fridays restaurants open for the entire 2014 fiscal year

Section I – Background Information

TGI Fridays Continues Refranchising Drive

TGI Fridays, working toward a goal of refranchising almost all of its restaurants by the end of 2015, is 80 percent franchised after a July 2015 sale of 48 company-owned Midwest locations to JIB Management Inc. TGI Fridays announced its refranchising plan in September 2014.

JIB Management, which owns and operates more than 300 restaurants and is the largest Jack in the Box franchisee with about 220 locations, also plans 16 additional TGI Fridays restaurants in the Midwest markets, primarily in the Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and Minneapolis areas.

In May 2015, JIB, then a new Fridays franchisee, purchased 16 Orlando, Florida, locations. Another 16 restaurants in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area were sold to Jackmont Hospitality at that time.



Twenty-two restaurants, primarily in Texas and Colorado, were sold in October 2014 to MarLu Investment Group, which will open another 10 locations.

More Overseas Fridays Restaurants

In November 2014, Americana Group (Kuwait Food Company) signed an agreement with TGI Fridays to open 35 new Fridays restaurants over five years. With the agreement, Americana, which has TGIF Fridays locations in nine countries, would have a total of 90 Fridays restaurants by 2019.

Cocktail-Party Inspiration

TGI Fridays was founded in 1965 in New York City by Alan Stillman, who sought to create a cocktail-party environment. Franchising began in 1971 with a restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee. Stillman later merged with innovative franchisee Daniel R. Scoggin, who became CEO, a position he held for 15 years.

In 1986, TGI Fridays became one of the first casual-dining brands in the U.S. to expand into other countries when it opened a location in Birmingham, England.

The company is now owned by Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners, private-equity firms that bought the company from Minneapolis-based Carlson, which purchased the chain in 1975 when it had only 12 locations. TGI Fridays is now headquartered in Carrollton, Texas.

CEO Stepping Down

TGI Fridays CEO Nick Shepherd announced in July 2015 that he was stepping down from his position. Shepherd said he had helped revitalize the chain in his six years with the company and that it was in a good position to succeed without him. Shepherd agreed to stay on until mid-October. John Antico, Fridays’ board chairman, will serve as interim CEO.

Endless Appetizers Expand

TGI Fridays perked appetites in July 2014 when it launched its Endless Appetizers summer promotion. Guests were able to choose one appetizer for $10 and get unlimited refills. In February 2015, the chain added the ability to choose refills of any appetizer for $12.

New to the appetizer menu are French Onion Dumplings, Garlic & Basil Bruschetta Flatbread, Spicy Chicken Tostada and Sriracha Chicken Potato Skins.

George Clooney’s Tequila on the Menu

Casamigos, the premium tequila George Clooney and friends created for personal consumption, is now on the menu at TGI Fridays. The tequila was added on Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, in 2015, paired with a signature drink, the Ultimate Casamigos Strawberry Margarita.

Among other menu additions:



  • The Rib Flight Trio joined the menu in November 2014, giving customers a choice of three or five grilled rib choices for $10, served with fries and slaw.
  • The chain jazzed up its lunch menu in March 2014 with a variety of selections such as Garlic Corned Beef & Swiss Sliders, Chipotle Yucatan Salad, and half-sandwiches featuring French Dip and BLT and Avocado.
  • Sizzling Chicken & Spinach and Sizzling Sirloin & Spinach, added in January 2014, are each under 500 calories. The chain also partnered with Skinnygirl Cocktails to offer lower-calorie beverages made with Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka.

Social Networking Burger Giveaway

In July 2015, TGI Fridays launched a pay-it-forward promotion called “Buy A Burger, Give A Burger,” in which a customer who bought a burger could send a code for a free burger to a social networking site. The first person to use the code got a free burger in the promotion, which ended Aug. 23 and targeted the TGI Fridays core audience of 21- to 49-year-olds.

Chain Hires Tech Agencies

TGI Fridays announced in February 2015 that it had hired two new agencies, Made Movement and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing to manage the chain’s digital marketing, email and technology campaigns. Made Movement, based in Boulder, Colorado, became the company’s digital, creative and technology agency of record, while MXM will manage email and mobile communications for Give Me More Stripes, the Fridays customer loyalty program.

More Retail Reach

Beanstalk, a global brand extension agency, was hired in June 2014 to extend the reach of Fridays-branded food products into retail establishments. The chain already markets a wide variety of frozen-food items, such as Buffalo Popcorn Chicken and Honey BBQ Wings.

Among recent retail moves for TGI Fridays:

  • The TGI Fridays snack line expanded in June 2015 with a new line featuring nuts, pretzels, crackers and seeds in Happy Hour Snack Mixes. The chain partnered with Inventure Foods for the salty snacks.
  • Campbell Soup Company and TGI Fridays teamed up in February 2015 for a line of fresh refrigerated sides, soups and sauces customers can purchase in retail stores. Fifteen products include Loaded Smashed Potatoes with Bacon, Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Korean BBQ Sauce.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of TGI Fridays franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD (updated).

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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