TGI Fridays to work with Burson amid repositioning

The restaurant chain picked Burson-Marsteller as its AOR for PR following a competitive review.

CARROLLTON, TX: Restaurant chain TGI Fridays has selected Burson-Marsteller as its AOR for PR, following a competitive review.

“Burson-Marsteller will bring great communications insight and expertise to our business,” said Quinton Crenshaw, director of communications at TGI Fridays USA, in an emailed statement.

He added that the company and Burson will “further position Fridays as the preferred choice for guests, team members, and investors within our industry.”

Burson will work on TGI Fridays' global repositioning and modern restaurant redesign initiative, as well as internal communications and responsible business efforts, said Erica Swerdlow, EVP of Burson's Midwest region.

“Fridays is an iconic brand that has embarked on a brand reinvigoration and that includes everything from supporting them with the new [redesign] of their stores, new menu items, and ultimately driving consumers to what we're calling the best corner bar in town,” she explained.

The contract is for one year. Budget information on the account was not disclosed.

In October 2010, TGI Fridays selected Peppercomm as AOR to handle consumer, digital, social media, and integrated marketing work.

“Peppercomm will continue supporting some of our brand marketing initiatives,” added Crenshaw, via email.

The restaurant chain has more than 928 locations around the world, 554 of which are in the US. Its other locations are spread across 59 countries. The first TGI Fridays opened in 1965 in New York City.

TGI Fridays parent company Carlson also operates the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which includes Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, and Hotel Missoni. The group also runs Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Carlson reported flat overall revenue of $37.6 billion in 2012. TGI Fridays posted a 5% revenue increase to $2.7 billion in the year, with strong growth in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. The group's outlook for 2013 is one of “measured optimism,” with plans to continue expansion in Asia-Pacific.

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