TGI Friday’s Chief Executive Officer Ray Blanchette, said in an interview, as many as 20% of the company’s 386 U.S. locations will likely have to close permanently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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?”
When the crisis first hit, sales at TGI Friday’s Inc. dropped by about 80% almost immediately, Blanchette said. With the shift to pickup and delivery, revenue has recovered modestly, but is still down about 50%, he said. The company has a mix of franchised and corporate-owned locations.
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.
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