TGI Fridays Expands Team With 2 Executive Hires

This week TGI Fridays announced the addition of two seasoned restaurant executives to its leadership. The announcement follows on the heels of the chain’s appointment of CEO Weldon Spangler earlier this year.

Ray Risley has been hired as the chain’s U.S. president and chief operating officer. Risley is charged with the management of the operations and performance standards of all TGI Fridays within the U.S., including both company-owned and franchised units.

Previously Risely served as CEO of Via 313 Pizzeria, where he doubled the brand's number of units during his tenure. Before that, Risely was president and COO of Front Burner Society, where he worked to grow the company’s Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar concept. Earlier in his career, Risley spent nearly 20 years in a variety of leadership roles at Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, including most recently as president of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse.



Nik Rupp has also joined TGI Fridays as president of international markets and chief financial officer. In the role, Rupp will oversee the financial strategy of TGI Fridays with an emphasis on accounting, finance and capital structures. Rupp most recently worked for Papa Murphy’s International, where he held the role of COO after serving as the company's CFO. Previously, Rupp worked in leadership positions at several global consumer brands, including Specialized Bicycle, Nike and Converse.

Both executives will report directly to CEO Spangler.

The addition of both leaders and the appointment of Spangler follows the brand's revitalization plan in the U.S. and globally, which includes reinvigorating many of the chain’s “legacy” menu offerings, such as its recently relaunched cocktail and appetizer menus.

Next story loading loading..