TGI Fridays is to open a new UK and global “flagship” restaurant and bar in London’s Leicester Square after an investment of £3.5m.
The new site at 29-30 Leicester Square, under Capital Radio London, will have 260 covers inside and another 60 outside.
Due to open later this year, it will be one of five restaurants due to be opened in the UK before the end of 2015, followed by another eight scheduled for 2016.
It follows a total sales growth for TGI Fridays in the UK of over 10% in 2015 so far and profits up over 16%, which the company has said will increase over the final three months of the year.
The new Leicester Square site will feature a four-sided standalone bar, which will be the focal point of the restaurant, serving cocktails late into the night, plus an open kitchen, allowing guests to see their burgers, ribs and steaks being cooked.
TGI Fridays is to launch a recruitment drive for the restaurant and bar, which will employ 150 people, over the next few weeks.
Karen Forrester, CEO for TGI Fridays UK, said: “We’re incredibly excited to be expanding the ever-increasing Fridays family, and opening our flagship store in London’s vibrant Leicester Square. Well known as the UK’s centre for entertainment and fun, we’ll fit in perfectly.
“This landmark opening comes at an important time for the brand this year, which has gone from strength to strength, including being named the Sunday Times Best Big Company to Work for in the UK.
“It also represents a new era for Fridays as we turn 30 next year. The Leicester Square restaurant will set new UK and international guest experience and sales records from its opening, and we’re continuing to explore similar sites around the country that’ll strengthen this position.”
The UK franchise for TGI Fridays was acquired at the end of last year by Electra Partners in a deal alongside the management team led by Karen.
Bill Priestley, partner at Electra Partners, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this prime Fridays site as we seek to develop and implement the company’s ambitious growth plans. This adds to the huge pipeline of new stores coming up both this year and into 2016, with hundreds of new jobs being created up and down the country.
“We’re really excited about what the future holds for Fridays, and can’t wait for the doors to open at its new restaurant in Leicester Square.”