Carlson to Double Number of TGI Friday’s

The chain plans to add at least 160 restaurants by 2015, although it hasn't disclosed a time frame for its ambitious long-term plans.

Carlson Restaurants on Friday announced plans to double the number of TGI Friday's restaurants across the globe.

Carlson Restaurants is a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based travel and hospitality giant Carlson. The announcement was made at the company's global business conference in Dallas, Texas.

The company plans to accelerate growth over the next five years, adding at least 160 more restaurants by 2015 and eventually doubling the number of TGI Friday's sites around the world. Carlson did not disclose a time frame for reaching that long-term goal. Forty more are on track to open in 2011.

There are currently 900 TGI Friday's restaurants in 60 countries-350 of which are outside the United States.

At the conference, Nick Shepherd, president and CEO of Carlson Restaurants, said that the company is positioned to increase the restaurant's footprint, given the strength of its brand, management, and franchise partners. “Our foundation for growth is an organization-wide focus on enhancing all elements of the guest experience,” Shepherd said.

Carlson is a family-owned, global hospitality and travel company that encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, across brands such as Radisson, Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, and Park Plaza. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 170,000 people.