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Calendars’ days are numbered

Allied-Lyons Retailing moved a step closer to phasing out the Calendars brand name earlier this month with the conversion of two more restaurants to its Exchange Bar Diner brand.

The rebranding of the outlets in Kingston, Surrey, and Shirley, West Midlands, leaves only three Calendars in Garston, near Watford, Norwich and Poole. All will eventually become Exchanges.

The latest conversions come 18 months since the first Calendars in Reading was rebranded. They take the number of Exchange Bar Diners within the company to 21.

A spokeswoman said that Calendars, which was set up in 1986, three years after the launch of the Exchange brand, was originally aimed at a higher end of the market.

Prices at Calendars gradually fell in line with the cheaper Exchange menu, she said, and when both brands were found to be catering for the same market, the decision was taken to phase Calendars out.

  • TGI Friday’s last week opened a new 230-seat restaurant in Bristol’s Avon Meads Development, taking the chain’s total number of outlets to 15.

Whitbread, which has the franchise to run the chain in the UK, expects to open its 16th branch this November in London’s Bayswater.

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