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This Old-School Family Restaurant Chain Filed for Bankruptcy

A beloved chain has finally agreed to a sale after years of struggles.
Friendlys restaurant

Eighty-year-old family restaurant and beloved ice-cream destination Friendly's has just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. After years of struggle, the chain is set to be sold in a $2-million deal.

Friendly's parent company has agreed to sell "substantially all" of its assets to Amici Partners Group. Affiliated with the multi-brand franchising company Brix Holdings, the restaurant group operates chains like Smoothie Factory, Red Mango, and RedBrick Pizza. The transaction will allow Friendly's to keep nearly all of its 130 locations open and preserve thousands of jobs, according to a press release. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)

"We believe the voluntary bankruptcy filing and planned sale to a new, deeply experienced restaurant group will enable Friendly's to rebound from the pandemic as a stronger business," Friendly's CEO George Michel said in a statement.

According to Restaurant Business, the pandemic wasn't the beginning of Friendly's troubles. The chain, which once operated more than 500 locations and drive-thrus, previously filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Almost 70% of Friendly's locations had shut down across the last decade. Court filings confirmed the company had sought out the help of external financial advisors after "losing money for some time."

The East Coast chain has been around since the Great Depression, serving up a family-style menu of burgers and ice cream. It joins a group of dozens of classic American chains and casual dining mainstays which have filed for bankruptcy amid the ongoing pandemic.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more