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TGI Friday's plans expansion with smaller venues

25 | 04 | 13

TGI Friday's is to develop a 'next-generation' version of the brand as it looks to expand throughout the UK.

It will open restaurants that are smaller in size and aimed at different markets such as transport hubs, according to M&C Report.

Karen Forrester, TGI Friday's UK managing director, told the publication the move will allow the company to expand to 80 or more sites nationwide.

It currently operates 56 venues, with another five planned for this year and eight more in 2014.

"We're looking at maybe a smaller-box Friday's that we can take into smaller markets with relatively smaller populations, but a bit more affluent," she stated.

Ms Forrester said she thinks there is demand for the chain to open in smaller towns, but it is difficult to find premises of the appropriate size.

However, developing the next-generation brand would allow the chain to "deliver the Friday's experience" but in a smaller space, which will also create new opportunities for catering equipment suppliers.

The company plans to open its first outlet at a transport hub within the next 18 months and hopes this will lead to other opportunities becoming available.

Ms Forrester claimed TGI Friday's would work well in airports and train stations, as most restaurants at these locations tend to be "functional".

"What we can really break up the day and cheer you up before you travel on."

She said the company's main focus will be to deliver a "great emotional connection", as this will help to make a difference to people who are travelling.

TGI Friday's new openings in 2012 will be in Bristol, Glasgow, Braintree and Brighton.

The US-themed restaurant chain has recently launched a new 'taste and share' menu.

This is comprised of dishes that are designed for sharing with friends, such as bacon mac and cheese bites and Thai pork tacos.

"We're excited about the flavour, freshness and value of our new food and drinks, which are great for sampling, sharing and celebrating," said Ricky Richardson, TGI Friday's US president.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801577199-ADNFCR

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