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The bar at a newlook TGI Fridays in Addison Texas
<p>The bar at a new-look TGI Fridays in Addison, Texas</p>

Franchisee MarLu to purchase 22 TGI Fridays

Deal is part of a refranchising effort

MarLu Investment Group has agreed to buy 22 TGI Fridays restaurants as part of a refranchising effort, the company said Thursday.

Elk Grove, Calif.-based MarLu, a multiconcept franchise group and management company, said the Fridays units were located primarily in Colorado and Texas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This purchase recognizes our long-term confidence in the Fridays brand and the strategic direction the company is headed,” Tony Lutfi, MarLu’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

“Fridays fits perfectly into our already strong network of brands, and we look forward to capitalizing on the many opportunities we see for growth and expansion,” Lutfi said.

The open kitchen at a new TGI Fridays location in Addison, Texas. Photo: Ron Ruggless

Privately held MarLu operates more than 200 franchise business locations in 11 states, including brands such as Arby's, Captain D's, Church's Chicken, Jack in the Box, Little Caesars Pizza and Sizzler. It also operates Sears Appliance & Hardware units.
MarLu said it plans to reimage the acquired restaurants with Fridays’ latest contemporary design, which debuted in September at a corporate unit in Addison, Texas. The agreement also calls for the company to develop 10 new Fridays restaurants.

“MarLu is an experienced multiunit operator and we believe their values and guiding principles are closely aligned with those at Fridays,” said Ricky Richardson, TGI Fridays USA president and chief operating officer.

The companies said the deal does not include the Addison, Texas, or Corpus Christi, Texas, locations, nor its six restaurants at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Longtime TGI Fridays 
parent Carlson sold the brand this summer to private-equity firms Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners.

In Nation’s Restaurant News’ most recent Top 100 census, estimated 2013 sales for domestic Fridays restaurants were nearly $1.8 billion at an estimated 527 U.S. units.

The company has more than 900 restaurants in more than 60 nations. Total worldwide sales were $2.7 billion in 2013, the company has said.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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