Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, United Restaurant Group, LP, is the second largest franchisee of TGI Fridays℠. Starting with just two restaurants in 1993, the company has grown into a group of 15 restaurants in three different states—Virginia, Delaware and North Carolina—with plans for continued growth.
URG has received the TGI Fridays “Franchisee of the Year” in 2003, 2004, and 2005. The company has also received “Best Director of Operations for All Franchisees”, “Best Franchise Sales Growth”, and “Best Franchise Profitability”.
The company takes great pride in our restaurants and strives for excellence in our relationships with our guests, team members, and vendors.
About TGI Fridays℠
TGI Fridays provides a unique, casual experience delivering on its brand promise of “In Here, It’s Always Friday®” melding authentic and imaginative American food, exciting and innovative drinks and a one of a kind service experience to provide liberation from the everyday — turning any day into a FRIDAY! It is also famous for its knowledgeable and charismatic bartenders, nearly 8,000 of whom compete annually for the title of the “Greatest TGI Fridays Bartender in the World.” As the original casual dining restaurant, Fridays delights guests in more than 900 restaurants across more than 60 countries around the globe. For more information, visit WWW.FRIDAYS.COM.
Kathy Stevens, Chief Financial Officer
Kathy Stevens provides the bridge between operations and finance by having worked at all levels over her 26 years with United Restaurant Group. She believes that moving forward financially as a company only works when all levels are trained to understand the financial piece.
Kathy has mastered the different software platforms used throughout the company, whether at the corporate office, the store level, or used by the franchisor. Currently, she is working to integrate all platforms for seamless processing and training the general managers on financial processes and results to expand their knowledge base.
Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science from the College of William & Mary. When she is not digging through financial statements, Kathy enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her family…if three teenagers can be coerced into spending time together.
Jimmy Cabanban, Vice President of Operations
Jimmy’s journey in the hospitality industry began in 1998 when he joined United Restaurant Group as a beverage manager. Within a remarkably short period, his exceptional skills and dedication earned him a rapid promotion to the role of General Manager. By 2004, Jimmy had ascended to the esteemed position of Director of Operations, showcasing his remarkable leadership abilities.
In 2006, Jimmy’s outstanding contributions and achievements led to him being honored with the prestigious Franchise Operator of the Year award for TGI Fridays. His talent and expertise caught the attention of Applebee’s in 2014, resulting in his recruitment as a Senior Area Director, entrusted with the oversight of twenty restaurants.
After a successful tenure at Applebee’s, Jimmy returned to his roots at United Restaurant Group in 2022, assuming the pivotal role of Vice President of Operations. His vast experience and strategic insights contribute to the company’s continued success.
During his well-deserved free time, Jimmy cherishes moments spent with his wife, whom he has been happily married to for 21 years, and their three beloved children. Family holds a special place in Jimmy’s heart, providing him with joy, love, and a source of rejuvenation outside the demands of his professional endeavors.
Vicki Simpkiss, Director of Human Resources
Vicki Simpkiss currently holds the position of Director of Human Resources at United Restaurant Group. Her journey with TGI Fridays began in the 1980s when she started as a server. In 1999, she transitioned into the role of Regional Training Manager, where she played a crucial part in designing an hourly training program for the franchise.
In 2005, Vicki was promoted to the esteemed position of Director of Human Resources. In this multifaceted role, she takes on various responsibilities, including the supervision of Manager Training and contributing to the development of exceptional managers and leaders within our organization.
Vicki pursued her education at J Sergeant Reynolds, specializing in Paralegal studies.
During her leisure time, she finds joy in spending quality moments with her numerous grandchildren.
Rob Stevens, Director of Marketing & Brand Standards
Rob returns to URG to build a new presence in the market for one of TGI Fridays strongest and most storied franchises. Starting his career with TGI Fridays, Rob has spent many years in operations of high-volume corporate restaurant concepts as well as holding high-level culinary positions in the country club world. For a decade and a half, Rob owned and operated a hugely successful catering company that was accompanied by two breakfast and lunch restaurant concepts. Most recently, he has consulted with URG to help reform operational standards coming out of the Covid era.
Rob has been married for 23 years and has three teenage children. He enjoys Cubs baseball, live music, and target shooting as his hobbies.
Sarah Clark, General Manager - Newark DE
Sarah attended Penn State and completed a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing. While at Penn State, she started working as a server on Fridays and held many positions up through the ranks, including Service Manager, Kitchen Manager, and now a General Manager. Sarah enjoys motivating her team to deliver a great guest experience. She prides herself on her team’s success in reaching their goals.
In her free time, she can be found with her dog in the garden, where she grows vegetables, or volunteering at the local animal adoption center. She also loves to spend time with her god kids, watching them grow into amazing little people.
Sharon Fentem, General Manager - Garner NC
After completing rigorous EMS technical training, Sharon spent the first four years of her career as a first responder. She then shifted her focus to raising a family of four, which she considers her most significant challenge. Later, Sharon worked as a manager at Walmart before joining Fridays as the General Manager of the Garner location.
During her leisure time, Sharon enjoys spending time with her grandkids and working on her vacation home in the western mountains of North Carolina. When she’s not with her family in the mountains, she volunteers her time to local EMS services.
Eric Gooch, General Manager - Greensboro NC
With an impressive 24-year career at Fridays, Eric started as a sauté cook at the TGI Fridays location in Vestal, New York, in 1998. He honed his skills in a fast-paced kitchen environment before transferring to the Cary, North Carolina location, where he quickly rose from Beverage Manager to Kitchen Manager. Eric played a crucial role in launching three new Fridays restaurants in North Carolina, which led to his promotion as General Manager at the Winston-Salem, NC location. He now holds the same position at the Greensboro location. During his free time, Eric enjoys fishing and other outdoor activities.
Brian Holochwost, General Manager - Dover, DE
Brian is a dedicated General Manager who goes the extra mile to ensure each guest visit is a truly memorable experience. Having embarked on his journey as a Restaurant Manager at the young age of 18, Brian has amassed a wealth of experience across various restaurant concepts. Each endeavor has enriched his expertise, equipping him with invaluable leadership skills along the way.
When Brian isn’t immersed in his job, you’ll likely find him alongside his sons, cheering them on at the soccer fields or enjoying time together at the beach.
Eric Johnson, General Manager - Williamsburg VA
Originally from Clinton, MD, Eric holds an Associate Degree in Business Management from Prince George’s Community College. Driven and eager to learn, he excelled in the hospitality industry, ultimately becoming one of the youngest General Managers at Papa Johns. After his tenure at Papa Johns, Eric served as the Food Service Director at Walter Reed Military Hospital. After several years there, he returned to the private sector and held positions as Foodservice Director at Chic-Fil-A and General Manager at Applebee’s, before ultimately joining TGI Fridays in 2022. Eric is married and a proud father of three boys. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and rooting for his beloved New York Giants.
Jake Kirchner, General Manager - Asheville NC
In 2009, Jake began his journey with Fridays as a Beverage Manager in Asheville. Through his hard work and dedication, he quickly climbed the ranks to become a General Manager. His efforts were recognized in 2017 when he was named Franchise GM of the year across the entire Fridays system. Seeking a new challenge, Jake moved to Florida in 2021 with his family to take on the role of GM at Whiskey Joes. However, in late 2022, Jake and his family returned to Asheville to be closer to their loved ones. When not overseeing the restaurant’s operations, Jake spends quality time with his wife and son while also cheering on his favorite college football team, Michigan.
Alpha Loucar, General Manager - Henrico VA
Originally from Senegal, Loucar began his tenure at TGI Fridays in 2015, starting as a Kitchen Manager. He subsequently worked at Five Guys for five years as a staff trainer before returning to us. Currently, Alpha has taken on the role of General Manager at one of our busiest TGI Fridays locations in Richmond, Virginia. When he’s not on the job, Alpha enjoys spending time with his wife and their five children – three girls and two boys – and sharing his love for soccer with both his family and the community.
Antonio Luna, General Manager - New Castle, DE
Antonio grew up in a close-knit community near Mexico City, where he nurtured his passion for success. He embarked on his educational journey at the Autonomous University of Mexico State (UAEM). After graduating he started at TGI Fridays, working his way up the ranks from Dishwasher through various management roles and then on to General Manager where his is today.
Antonio’s unwavering work ethic is a testament to his deeply ingrained values of dedication, integrity, respect, and equality. These principles serve as the guiding force behind his professional endeavors, enabling him to inspire and uplift others.
When not dedicated to his career, Antonio cherishes precious moments with his wife and two dogs. They enjoy outdoor entertaining, cooking and watching sports together with friends and family.
Lisa Montero, General Manager - Chesapeake VA
Lisa is a high-energy General Manager who takes pleasure in crafting unforgettable guest experiences by tailoring them to each guest’s individual preferences. Lisa believes that every meal shared with loved ones is precious and she is committed to exceeding her guests’ expectations. Although Lisa has mastered several positions in the restaurant industry, her heart still beats for flair bartending. She is currently dedicated to cultivating a team that shares her passion for the business. When not creating amazing guest experiences, Lisa enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family, whether it be camping, hiking, geocaching, or simply relaxing on a beach.
Jordan West, General Manager - Wilmington DE
At the young age of 16, Jordan began his journey in the restaurant industry as a Dishwasher at Shoney’s. He joined our New Castle store as a Server in 2002 and subsequently worked at other concepts before returning to Fridays in 2019 as a Bartender. In 2022, Jordan was recognized for his exceptional leadership skills and promoted to General Manager of our Wilmington, Delaware location. When he’s not on the job, Jordan cherishes spending time with his wife of 10 years and their four children. He relishes outdoor activities, cheering for his children on the sidelines, and unwinding with family camping trips in the mountains on the weekends.