Friendly's Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The parent of the Friendly's restaurant chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and said that it has already closed 63 of its stores. Each store employed about 20 people, so about 1,260 jobs were lost.

The 76-year-old company known for its ice cream and hamburgers is the latest restaurant chain to file for bankruptcy, as consumers continue to eat out less, a habit they picked up during the recession, and food costs remain high.

Other companies that have sought bankruptcy protection this year include Perkins & Marie Callender's; Real Mex, which operates El Torito Restaurant and Chevys Fresh Mex, and SSI Group Holding Corp., which operates Souper Salad and Grandy's restaurant.

Friendly's said the economic downturn coupled with higher costs and high rents drove it to file for bankruptcy protection.

"The strategic decision to pursue a financial restructuring will allow us to proactively and quickly improve our financial position," said CEO Harsha V. Agadi.

Friendly Ice Cream Corp., based in Wilbraham, Mass., says it has secured $70 million in financing and that its 424 remaining restaurants will stay open and pay employee salaries and benefits as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. Gift cards will continue to be honored. Friendly's now employs about 9,000 workers.

Its current owners, Sun Capital Partners, will be the lead, or "stalking horse" bidders, in an auction process.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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Darlene Blevins

HI, I LIVED IN N.J AND EVERY WEEKEND MY HUSBAND AND I WOULD GO TO FRIENDLY'S AND I ALL WAY'S ORDERED THE SAME THING. CHICKEN SALAD. I LOVED THAT MEAL. I HAVE NEVER FOUND ANY OTHER RESTAURANT. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT CHICKEN SALAD JUST ONCE MORE B/F I PASS AWAY. I WISH I HAD THE RECIPE. PLEASE BRING BACK A FRIENDLY'S RESTAURANT IN CONCORD N.C, WHERE I NOW LIVE. I MOVED BACK HOME B/C MY MOM WAS DYING OF LUNG CANCER. IS THERE ANYWAY I WOULD HAVE THAT SALAD JUST ONCE MORE?

December 21 2011 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
evenfaster

Friendly's fall was inevitable. Too much disparity in service from one store to the next. Eager young people who
want to do the best job they can are not to be found anymore in the low to mid-range restaurant business.
The bright eyed pony-tailed girls have been replaced with dreadlocks and piercings. Customer's are turned off
by Whatchahavin? It's sad really.

October 06 2011 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpeirce

More great economic news in the financial recovery that Obama has crafted. Thanks Barrack. What will your next accomplishment be?

October 05 2011 at 8:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
my10gran

Rte 37W, Tome Rivms River NJ. Dirty, smelly and poor reception. Workers hanging around visiting. Place was freezing. No waitress for 5 minutes. We walked out. Sorry Never again

October 05 2011 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
my10gran

Rte 37W, Tome Rivms River NJ. Dirty, smelly and poor reception. Workers hanging around visiting. Place was freezing. No waitress for 5 minutes. We walked out. Sorry Never again

October 05 2011 at 5:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
my10gran

We went to the Friendly's on Rte 37 E. Toms River, NJ, the other day. The staff was standing in front visiting, the smell of burnt fried whatever was terrible. We were seated and waited 5 minutes, no one came over, it was freezing and dirty. We walked out. Never again. Need M

October 05 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to my10gran's comment
Darlene Blevins

I UNDERSTAND YOU MAY HAVE HAD A BAD TIME WHEN YOU WENT, BUT YOU MISSED OUT ON THE BEST RESTAURANT I'VE BEEN TOO. RESTAURANT'S NOW, DON'T HAVE GOOD FOOD,AND I WILL NEVER FIND THAT SALAD AGAIN. I HAVE BEEN TO PLACES WHERE YOU HAVE TO WAIT B/F SOME ONE GETS TO YOU, BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU AREN'T THE ONLY PERSON THERE.

December 21 2011 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
my10gran

We went to the Friendly's for lunch. As soon as we walked in all we smelled a stale fried oil smell. We were seated to a dirty table and was freezing. The place was half empty and we waited for 5 minutes, got up and walked out. The place was dirty and the help was standing by the entrance visiting. Rte 37E in Toms River NJ. Sorry you are going out of business, but you whould monitor your MANAGEMENT PEOPLEwas

October 05 2011 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sylvie

So long, Friendly's. The American consumer has voted you off. Would you please take Nancy dis'Grace with you?

October 05 2011 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
codywyattmarley

They used to have a great oriental chicken salad then they cheapened the ingredients in that so I couldn't order it anymore. Another time I ordered the happy ending sundae and they didn't have toppings, heck even the supermarket has the toppings so why didn't they when they specialize in ice cream? The last time I had dinner there the food was inedible. I'm not surprised they're going under, no one in management cared about the quality of the food.

October 05 2011 at 4:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to codywyattmarley's comment
Darlene Blevins

HEY CODYWYATTMARLEY, YOU MUST BE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME CHICKEN SALAD I ALL WAY'S ORDERED. WASN'T LAID ON A BED OF LETTUCE? DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER PLACE THAT HAS THAT CHICKEN SALAD? LET ME KNOW ON FACEBOOK, DARLENE BLEVINS THANK YOU

December 21 2011 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
melissag57

I loved Friendly's when they were on my side of town. They had the best milk shakes(Fribbles) and great fish sandwiches. It's a shame what's happened to them. These other horrible fast food places like McDonald's and many others should have been shut down long ago. I don't think people know what they're eating anymore, or they've lost their tastebuds. Keep Friendly's open and open one close to me again.

October 05 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply