- TGI Fridays appointed CMO Brandon Coleman III to the CEO post on Tuesday, the company announced in a press release.
- Coleman’s promotion is the culmination of a CEO search ongoing since longtime leader Ray Blanchette stepped down in May. Rohit Manocha, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of TriArtisan Capital Advisors, TGI Fridays’ lead investor, fulfilled Blanchette’s role in the interim.
- Coleman takes the reins of the casual restaurant as it experiments with virtual brands, a new loyalty structure and major menu overhaul and pursues domestic and international growth.
Coleman seems a natural fit for taking over as top executive of TGI Fridays. Coleman, who joined the chain in October 2022 as president and CMO, has already taken the lead role on TGI Fridays’ menu revamp, the first phase of which dropped in June with the chain’s Grilled & Sauced menu.
The launch included six proteins that can be sauced however the customer chooses. Coleman previously told Restaurant Dive that this is just the beginning of new menu items at the chain, which plans to add new proteins to the Grilled & Sauced menu, such as a Tomahawk pork chop. The restaurant plans to debut another big menu change this fall, he said.
Outside of menu development, Coleman has overseen the expansion of virtual brand Krispy Rice through a partnership with C3. He has also led the expansion of the chain into Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which is expected to have the highest sales volume of any U.S. airport location. That unit’s annual revenue is expected to reach $14 million, according to the press release.
“Coleman will lead TGI Fridays into a transformative next phase revitalizing the brand to position it as a growing market leader in the rapidly evolving food and hospitality industry,” the company said. “This entails accelerating the company's evolution as an experiential hospitality and entertainment destination by offering bold new offerings across key dayparts as well as an expansion of restaurant locations, domestically and internationally.”
TGI Fridays, which boasted $1.6 billion systemwide sales in 2022 and U.S. same-store growth of 8% compared to 2019, signed its most significant deal in the company’s history last year with an agreement to build 75 franchised locations in South and Southeast Asia over the next 10 years. This deal is expected to add $500 million in restaurant revenue.
Coleman has about a decade of restaurant experience, according to his LinkedIn profile. His career includes serving as SVP and CMO at Dave & Busters, various positions at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, CMO of Romano’s Macaroni Grill and CEO and management consultant for Brava Partners, according to the release.