TGI Fridays has a new CEO for the second time this year after recently hired chief Brandon Coleman stepped down for personal reasons. He is being replaced by Fridays board member Weldon Spangler.
The surprising change comes just weeks after Coleman made some of his first major moves as CEO, including adding sushi to the menu and unveiling a new appetizer lineup. He was promoted from CMO in August to help revitalize the ailing brand.
Spangler, who has been on Fridays' board since 2019, will now pick up where Coleman left off. He has more than 30 years of restaurant experience that includes 12 years at Starbucks and seven years at Dunkin' Brands. He was also CEO of Papa Murphy's for two years and was most recently SVP of market operations at Subway. His specialties include customer experience, operations and marketing.
Fridays in a press release called this a "pivotal moment" in its history. "With Mr. Spangler at the helm, TGI Fridays is poised to put in place its new strategic plan for growth, innovation, and excellence," the company said.
Fridays Chairman Rohit Manocha will work closely with Spangler, according to the release. Manocha is the co-founder of Fridays' owner TriArtisan Capital.
"I thank Rohit and the board for their trust in me and look forward to working closely with the board on executing on our new growth-oriented business plan focused on revitalizing TGI Fridays," Spangler said in a statement. "We are a well-loved brand around the world, which is a strong foundation on which to build our business and brand."
Fridays has about 700 restaurants, 381 of which are overseas. Once a casual-dining pioneer, it has suffered years of sales declines and store closures. In an interview with Restaurant Business earlier this month, Coleman said he wanted to bring innovation and fun back to the brand. The strategy included a revamped menu focusing on apps and shareables, a refreshed bar program and more in-restaurant entertainment.
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