TGIFriday’s Abruptly Closes – UPDATED

16 10 2008

Got an e-mail in my inbox this morning saying TGIFriday’s on Saginaw closed abruptly last night.  Seems it was not their fault, but the Holiday Inn didn’t pay their taxes to the city, so the city shut them down.  I don’t know what it means for the hotel.  We were out there this morning and there were still quite a few cars in the parking lot, but the TGIFriday’s awnings and signs were gone.  Here’s a statement I got from TGIFriday’s corporate office.

 According to Amy Freshwater, vice president of communication and public relations for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I. Friday’s, “Due to the non-payment of outstanding property taxes owed to the city by the Holiday Inn hotel property owner, the city advised us that they will involuntarily close and lock us out of the restaurant this week. Therefore, regretfully, at this time, we have been forced to close the restaurant located within the Holiday Inn at 7433 West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. This is an isolated closing, unrelated to the economy, and a unique situation where the restaurant was operated under a management contract with the owner. We will offer severance to our valued team members, who were impacted by the unfortunate actions of the hotel property owner. Lansing is a very important market for us, and we hope to bring Friday’s back to the community, at another location, in the future.

UPDATE – WILX went after the story and found out that the statement from TGIFriday’s may not be entirely true.  According to the Delta Township Finance Director (not the City of Lansing as the statement indicates), TGIFriday’s was not going to be forced out.  Anonymous employees also claim the business has been bouncing checks.  Check out the full story on WILX.com and kudos to Channel 10 for doing some digging and not accepting the corporate spin.

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4 responses

16 10 2008
genie28

I’m glad to see the update, the original statement from the company was a little strange. I hit on the city vs. township thing right away. We live nearby and have been here several times. Last 2 times, the staff seemed a little disconnected. First waitress says she dropped one of our plates but was remaking it ASAP. A minute later, someone else came by to say they were out of the quesadillas. Which would be bad service if true, since it was now 15 minutes after we ordered.
Too bad, I preferred them over Bennagins.

22 10 2008
Bill

Im a little upset about the comment that said “Anonymous employees also claim the business has been bouncing checks” because this is NOT true. The hotel (Holiday Inn) is the company who was bouncing checks and in return did not pay their tax bill of $30,000 or so. On top of all this, the bigger part of the problem is that the property owner, (owning the hotel and restaurant) new as of a year ago, never renewed the liquor license, they were still operating under the old owners license. It expired in July and they still didnt pay the $85,000 to reinstate it. While TGI Fridays was running on an extension, it wouldnt be for much longer, it will expire november 1st and the hotel as well will not be able to sell or serve and alcohol. Don’t plan any future parties at the Holiday Inn!

23 10 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

Thanks for your insights. My comments about anonymous employees were taken from WILX’s article. I have no knowledge either way, so I’m glad you posted more on the restaurants side of things.

17 11 2008
josh

I was actually a server there and the hotel was the one bouncing checks.. Not Fridays..

They called us all in for an “emergency meeting” and said it was the last day of business!! So we all got screwed!!

That place was awesome, money wise!! But some servers had their noses buried too far in mgmt’s butt.. And the WHOLE kitchen staff & dishwashers SUCKED!! They will always be in a kitchen!!

Mgmt was amazing!! Even the drill sargeant was pretty cool!! I’ll never 4get that restaurant!

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