TGI Friday’s has announced that its president and chief executive Nick Shepherd is stepping down after six years at the helm.

Shepherd will leave in mid-October with chairman John Antioco expected to serve as interim chief executive until a replacement can be found. The search for a new chief executive will be led by majority shareholder Sentinel Capital Partners.

Antioco said: “Nick led the transformation of Fridays into a dynamic, globally relevant brand with a bright future and a strong platform for growth.

“We would like to formally recognize Nick for his outstanding and passionate leadership of the business. While we hate to see Nick leave, we are extremely confident that the iconic Fridays brand and significant growth prospects will attract a highly-capable successor.”

Shepherd said: “During my six years leading this amazing business, we have deepened the culture, upgraded the talent, measurably improved our guest quality, established solid operating numbers and expanded our international footprint.

“After undergoing a productive ownership transition, we successfully executed our initial business plan to sell the majority of our company-owned restaurants to new and existing franchisees. This allows us to focus acutely on being a World Class franchisor and brand innovator, which provides us with a great foundation for accelerated future growth here at Fridays.”