Friendly's, a family dining chain with a decades-long legacy, has been bought out of bankruptcy. The parent company has sold Friendly's to Amici Partners Group, which operates Red Mango, Smoothie Factory, and several other chains, for an undisclosed amount.
The restaurant chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy back in November and was immediately slated for sale to the Amici restaurant group in a rumored $2-million dollar deal, with the buyer assuming the chain's $88-million debt. The sale is great news for eighty-year-old Friendly's, which will get to keep all 130 of its locations open and preserve thousands of jobs. (Related: The Saddest Restaurant Closures In Your State.)
"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 in November.
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 beloved casual dining and ice-cream destination has been around since the Great Depression, serving up a family-style menu of burgers and an array of ice cream flavors. 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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