TGI Fridays Names U.S. President & COO; President of International Markets & CFO

by Katie Lee

Dallas — TGI Fridays® has hired Ray Risley as U.S president and chief operating officer and Nik Rupp as president of international markets and chief financial officer. Both will report directly to CEO Weldon Spangler. This news comes as TGI Fridays continues the revitalization of its brand.

In the role as U.S. president and COO, Risley will be responsible for the supervision and management of the operational facets and performance standards of all TGI Fridays establishments within the United States, both company-owned and franchised entities. Risley joins TGI Fridays after serving as CEO of Via 313 Pizzeria, where he doubled the brand’s number of units and successfully positioned the independent pizza chain for significant future expansion. Prior to that, he was president and COO of Front Burner Society, where he was integral to the growth of the Whiskey Cake Kitchen and Bar concept. Risley also spent nearly 20 years in leadership roles at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc., including most recently as president of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse.

In his role as CFO and president of international, Rupp will oversee the financial strategy of TGI Fridays with an emphasis in accounting, finance and capital structure, as well as focus on growth and managing relationships with international franchisees. Rupp most recently held the role of COO at Papa Murphy’s International, subsequent to serving as the company’s CFO. Previously, he held leadership positions at Specialized, Nike and Converse, among others.

“We have a significant opportunity to lead this much-loved, heritage brand through a revitalized new chapter, and by bringing on Ray and Nik to our leadership team, we are confident in what we can accomplish in the coming year,” says Weldon Spangler, CEO of TGI Fridays. “Not only do Ray and Nik have tremendous experience in the restaurant industry that will drive growth for our brand and our franchisees, but their enthusiasm and passion for TGI Fridays will also be a cornerstone to our vision for the company.”

TGI Fridays operates and franchises nearly 700 restaurants across 51 countries. The company announced its most significant deal in September 2022, consisting of 75 new franchised restaurants to be opened throughout South and Southeast Asia over the next 10 years. For more information, visit

SOURE: TGI Fridays®

You may also like