Friendly’s Restaurant Chain Files for Bankruptcy Due to Coronavirus Restrictions

FILE – This Oct. 5, 2011 file photo shows a sign displayed on the door at Friendly’s restaurant in Brunswick, Maine. Friendly’s Restaurant, an East Coast restaurant chain known for its sundaes, is filing for bankruptcy protection. The company said it will sell substantially all of its assets to the restaurant company, Amici Partners Group, and all 130 of its locations will remain open while in restructures under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

Friendly’s, the iconic East Coast restaurant chain famous for its ice cream, has filed for bankruptcy after the coronavirus pandemic upended its turnaround plans.

The Massachusetts-based company announced the filing late Sunday alongside plans to sell itself to restaurant investment firm Amici Partners Group for about $2 million. Friendly’s said it expects almost all of its 130 locations to stay open through the bankruptcy process.

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The 85-year-old chain had been working for about two years to revitalize its business by closing unprofitable restaurants, revamping its menu and focusing more on takeout and delivery — but the pandemic brought those efforts to a screeching halt, according to Friendly’s bankruptcy filings in Delaware.

“Unfortunately, like many restaurant businesses, our progress was suddenly interrupted by the catastrophic impact of COVID-19, which caused a decline in revenue as dine-in operations ceased for months and re-opened with limited capacity,” Friendly’s CEO George Michel said in a statement.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Noah Manskar

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