T.G.I. Friday’s is privately held by the Minneapolis-based Carlson hospitality company, and has $1.77 billion in U.S. systemwide sales. The Carrollton, Texas-based company was a pioneer in casual dining, with the first restaurant opening in New York City in 1965. It was one of the U.S. casual-dining brands to expand abroad, opening in 1986 in Birmingham, England. It innovated such menu items as loaded potato skins (1974) and the Jack Daniel’s Grill (1997).