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TGI Fridays Checks Into Running Hotel Restaurants



Skift Take

We will not rest until we can also report that Wagamama is coming to hotels worldwide.

TGI Fridays has opened a restaurant inside the Hilton Garden Inn in Los Angeles/Hollywood, California. The fast-casual food chain hopes that other hotel owners will also hire it to take over similarly underperforming restaurants.


The Hollywood location, which opened last week, seats 150 guests and includes an outdoor patio. It’s the second TGI Fridays hotel location for RLJ Lodging Trust, the hotel owner with a $1.5 billion market cap.

TGI Fridays worked on the project with Aimbridge Hospitality, which runs the Hilton Garden Inn Hollywood on behalf of RLJ. The renovation replaced a Garden Grille and Bar by Hilton. Aimbridge is the world’s largest third-party hotel management company. If its development process kept costs in line, the process may be repeatable at scale for some of the other 1,500 properties that it runs.

TGI Fridays’ Bet on Travel

RLJ Lodging Trust also owns a full-size TGI Fridays attached to a Courtyard by Marriott near Chicago Midway International Airport. However, that project involved new construction rather than a renovation and wasn’t as cost-effective. A conversion can take advantage of pre-existing back-of-house cooking areas, utility hook-ups, and public restrooms that are already permitted.


TGI Fridays’ brand recognition helps bring in business from locals. The hotel restaurants are “seeing significantly higher sales volumes” than what the hotels saw with their previous restaurants, execs claimed.

TGI Fridays believes hotel locations will give it access to heavy numbers of tourists and business travelers without the costs of new construction, which have risen significantly in the past five years. The location in Hollywood, for instance, has a lot of foot traffic thanks to its proximity to iconic tourism spots and it’s a few miles of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

After a renovation a year ago, execs said TGI Fridays at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Terminal B was on track to be the highest-volume sales location of any U.S. airport restaurant. That restaurant has stiff competition, however. Last year, the best performer was Chili’s in Terminal C at DFW Airport, grossing $8 million, reported the Dallas Morning News.


In April, Hostmore said it plans to buy TGI Fridays for a value of about $220 million (£177 million). The combined company, named TGI Fridays, would own 189 restaurants in the U.S. and Britain, and franchise about 400 stores in 44 countries. It projects annual sales of over $1.7 billion.

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.


The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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