Editor’s Note: The following is a statement the Public relations company Friendly’s sent SOURCE. The news outlet reported on the closure of Friendly’s on Templet Street in Framingham yesterday morning, April 7. The letter was written by CEO George Michel.
As we move into the second quarter of 2019, I want to again thank you for the valuable input and insights you’ve shared over the last few months as we accelerate efforts to reinvigorate the Friendly’s brand and chart a successful course forward in the face of shifting demographics and consumer preferences, increased competition, and rising costs. Amidst these industry-wide dynamics, our charge is to ensure our beloved brand not only remains relevant with existing audiences but continues to resonate with new generations of patrons and that our operations are structured to support long-term sustainability.
While there’s much work ahead, we are encouraged by the momentum we’re generating. The energy and enthusiasm for the plans we unveiled at our February meeting was both gratifying and inspiring, as we seek to re-energize our marketing efforts with the addition of a new agency roster, refresh our menu, focus on delivery and catering options, and improve the overall restaurant experience for our customers.
As we mentioned earlier this year, we initiated a strategic assessment of our corporate-owned restaurant footprint, with an eye toward ongoing viability and maximizing resource investment. In today’s environment, it is incumbent upon all restaurant operators to engage in such a process, but particularly so for Friendly’s, which, as an established brand, has locations in geographic areas that have changed dramatically in some cases since those restaurants first opened.
After a months-long evaluation and careful consideration, we have decided to close 23 corporate-owned restaurants, effective immediately. While this was a tough decision, we are confident it will best position the brand for a bright future. Especially difficult is the impact these closures will have on the locations’ wonderful employees, who we are working to support with opportunities in other locations or severance payments and other assistance.
The closed locations include 14 restaurants in upstate New York, three in Massachusetts, three in Connecticut, two in New Hampshire and one in Maine. One of the locations in Massachusetts was on Temple Street in Framingham.
Following these actions, Friendly’s will have 77 corporate-owned restaurants and 97 franchisee-owned restaurants.
Moving forward, we are committed to continuing to work closely with you to enhance the overall experience for our Friendly’s customers. Thank you again for your support and valuable input.