Dozens of TGI Friday’s restaurants won’t reopen as the chain struggles to recover from a drastic sales decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many as 20 percent of the company’s 386 U.S. locations will likely have to close permanently, Chief Executive Officer Ray Blanchette said in an interview. The American sit-down dining chain, known for burgers, ribs and shareable appetizers like chicken wings, is one of many in the industry struggling to bring in customers who are largely still sheltering at home.
“Some will close forever, without a doubt,” Blanchette said. “Right now it’s all triage and it’s all about cash: How are you going to make it through and keep the company solvent?”
The hardship reflects the challenges across the restaurant industry, as companies close stores and try to adapt by shifting to drive-thru, pickup and delivery. Reservation service OpenTable recently projected that a quarter of U.S. restaurants won’t survive the pandemic.