Carlson has hired an investment bank to consider strategic alternatives for TGI Fridays, a long-term unit of the company, a Carlson spokesperson said.
Carlson is considering a sale or other options for the American casual dining chain.
The company selected Piper Jaffray as its financial advisor.
"Capitalizing on Fridays' strong marketplace momentum, the board has determined that this is the optimum time to assess its options for the iconic restaurant brand, including a possible sale," Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer of Carlson, said in a release.
TGI Fridays first began in 1965, quickly becoming a meeting place for single adults.
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A decade later in 1975, Carlson, which also owns Radisson hotels and Country Inns & Suites, bought the chain, which at the time was composed of 12 restaurants in nine states.
Since then, the company has grown to about 920 restaurants in more than 60 countries.
—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter