TGI Fridays Debuts a Model for Hotels

Located inside a Hilton hotel, the model helps the brand efficiently grow its footprint by leaning on existing infrastructures.

TGIFridays
The new Hollywood location seats 150 guests across 4,000 square feet, including an outdoor patio. Photo courtesy of TGI Fridays.

TGI Fridays is looking at hotels and other travel-driven locations for growth opportunities.

Yesterday, the brand announced it opened a restaurant inside the Hilton Garden Inn in Hollywood, Calif., that is “core to the brand’s transformation strategy,” the release says. Located inside an existing restaurant space, the location offers hotel guests “a Fridays experience,” it says, while creating a model that’s focused on operational value and efficiency within the hospitality industry.

“Our previous Fridays hotel properties were full-size prototypes built with a common wall to the hotel and direct access,” Chris Devlin, chief development officer at Fridays, told FER. “The overall cost and time to construct were not really different than a freestanding prototype. In this program, we are talking with hotel owners that have restaurant space currently existing in their properties and determining if it would make an appropriate conversion to Fridays. In many cases the existing, nonbranded offering is not helping to elevate the hotel guest’s experience or part of the criteria for choosing that hotel.”

Devlin says Fridays started working on the model seen at the Hilton Garden Inn Hollywood shortly after the pandemic, when construction costs skyrocketed, the supply chain struggled, and it was difficult to get through permitting and find GCs/trades.

“With this hotel initiative, we avoid those challenges and can develop at a fraction of the cost and in a short timeframe using much of the infrastructure that exists,” Devlin says. “The back-of-house and restrooms exist so most of the focus is on the cosmetic changes in the front-of-house to make it look and feel like a Fridays. This results in a very favorable ROI for the hotel owner on space that was underperforming.”

“With this hotel initiative, we avoid those challenges and can develop at a fraction of the cost and in a short timeframe using much of the infrastructure that exists.”
– Chris Devlin, TGI Fridays

Also in the release, Fridays points to last year’s renovation of the brand’s Dallas Fort Worth Int’l. Airport Terminal B restaurant, saying it’s on track to be “the highest volume sales location of any U.S. airport restaurant.” Meanwhile, full-size Fridays restaurants attached to hotels are seeing “significantly higher sales volumes than traditional streetside locations,” it says.

In April, TGI Fridays announced its plan to merge with its largest global franchisee, Hostmore plc. The deal will close in Q3/24.

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