Chain Leader:

Just ahead of the recession that began in early 2008, the Briad Group, which franchises 71 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, launched a remodeling program at an average cost of $700,000 per unit.

“[Corporate] said we were obligated to do it,” Briad Group CEO Brad Honigfeld recalls. “They deemed they were doing a major rebranding.”

Carrollton, Texas-based T.G.I. Friday’s began overhauling company-owned restaurants in 2003, ridding them of Tiffany-style lamps and brass railings and toning down the memorabilia on walls. The company added trendy lighting and contemporary graphics. Exteriors boasted boldly striped awnings, new signage and a “tower” over the entry. More.