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Friendly’s Will Sell to Investment Group for About the Price of a Brooklyn Brownstone

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The exterior of a Friendly’s restaurant, lit up inside during nighttime.
Friendly’s was founded in 1935 as an ice cream shop.
Photo: QualityHD/Shutterstock

Friendly’s files for bankruptcy a second time, plans to sell restaurants to investor group

Friendly’s, the East Coast restaurant chain known for its ice cream and diner fare, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy amid declining revenue due to the pandemic.

“Over the last two years, Friendly’s has made important strides toward reinvigorating our beloved brand in the face of shifting demographics, increased competition, and rising costs,” Friendly’s CEO George Michael said in a press release. “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.”

The 85-year-old chain intends to sell its assets to Amici Partners Group, an investor group affiliated with Brix Holdings, the restaurant company behind Red Mango, Smoothie Factory, and other franchises. Restaurant Business reports that the selling price will fall just under $2 million. Friendly’s boasted more than 500 locations a decade ago, before it first filed for bankruptcy in 2011; currently, the chain is down to 130. Nearly all of those locations are expected to remain open as the bankruptcy and sale proceedings continue; afterward, Amici expects to retain employees at corporate-owned restaurants, per the release.

And in other news…

  • The company that owns Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons plans to equip 10,000 of its restaurants with “predictive selling” drive-thru screens, which will use a variety of factors to personalize menu options and promotions. [NY Daily News]
  • The deal between Inspire Brands and Dunkin’ Brands, rumors of which were previously reported, has gone through for approximately $11.3 billion, creating one of the world’s largest restaurant companies as a result. [NRN]
  • Nestlé has acquired NYC-based subscription meal service Freshly for up to $1.5 billion. [TechCrunch]
  • Costco is the latest retailer to drop Chaokoh coconut milk following a PETA report accusing Chaokoh’s Thai suppliers of using monkeys as forced labor. The maker of the milk, Theppadungporn Coconut Co., denies the allegations. [USA Today]
  • Growing huge vegetables is the new windowsill scallions of pandemic gardening. [Modern Farmer]
  • Eating at Joe Biden’s favorite hometown restaurants. [F&W]
  • Actual Halloween horror:

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