The new owners of American restaurant chain TGI Friday's have revealed plans to launch a major recruitment campaign across the business in a bid to improve customer service levels.
The move comes after the sale of the 45-strong UK chain by Whitbread to Carlson Restaurants Worldwide and ABN AMRO Capital - the Dutch bank's private equity arm - in January for £74.1m.
Ricky Richardson, interim UK managing director of TGI, said bolstering staff numbers at the unit level would contribute to a situation where managers had all "the right tools for the job".
Richardson, previously vice-president of international operations at Carlson, said TGI would be looking to recruit about 250 new employees. The company will target staff at other hospitality businesses as well as new entrants to the sector.
The American, who is also overseeing the recruitment of both a full-time UK managing director and operations director, said the future looked bright for TGI.
"We're very confident about TGI's future in the UK based on our success with the brand in the USA," he told Caterer. "It's a vibrant market here and there's plenty of opportunity to develop the business."
Richardson, who is based in TGI's Luton head office, confirmed that the company would continue to be directly managed in the UK, with no plans to introduce franchising as with some of the group's restaurants in the USA.
Carlson has almost 1,000 restaurants globally in 58 countries, with about 600 sites in the USA. The first UK TGI Friday's opened in Birmingham in 1985.
by Chris Druce