TGI Friday's has named Brian Gies its U.S. senior VP-chief marketing officer.
The company confirmed the move, noting that Mr. Gies joined today. "He will play an integral role in shaping the consumer communication of the Friday's guest experience through his leadership of Friday's marketing activities, including brand-management and strategy, advertising, consumer insights, loyalty marketing and field marketing," said Ricky Richardson, president-chief operating officer for of TGI Friday's.
Mr. Gies is a longtime veteran of Burger King, where he worked from 1993 until 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile, filling various roles in brand strategy, youth and family marketing, national marketing, and finally, serving as VP-U.S. marketing. Most recently he was at Partners Proficio, a consulting firm he co-founded.
Richards Group in Dallas handles the chain's creative and media.
TGI Friday's, owned by privately held hospitality company Carlson, which also owns Radisson, is the 29th-largest restaurant in the U.S., according to Technomic. The chain posted $1.7 billion in 2011 U.S. systemwide sales, down 1.5% from the prior year. It's the fourth-largest casual-dining chain in the U.S., according to Technomic, after category leader Applebee's, Chili's and Buffalo Wild Wings. The chain spent about $36.4 million on U.S. measured media from January through December 2012. It spent $36.6 million in 2011.