The pandemic has not been friendly to the restaurant industry.
On November 1, Friendly’s Restaurants announced that it would be selling “substantially all of its assets” to Amici Partners Group, LLC.
In order to facilitate the transaction, Friendly’s is entering into voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In a press release, FIC Restaurants, Inc., confirmed that all 130 corporate-owned and franchised Friendly’s locations are expected to remain open (subject to local COVID-19 restrictions). Friendly’s says that the company has “sufficient cash-on-hand” to continue operations and to pay employees, franchisees and vendors.
“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," said George Michel, CEO of FIC Restaurants. "We achieved this by delivering menu innovation, re-energizing marketing, focusing on take-out, catering and third-party delivery, establishing a better overall experience for customers, and working closely with our franchisees and restaurant teams.”
He continued to explain, however, that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had impacted the restaurants and caused a significant decline in revenue. The sale is now expected to help Friendly’s rebound from the pandemic.
Michel also described Amici Partners Group as having “the leadership and resources needed to continue to invest in the business and serve loyal patrons, as well as compete to win new customers over the long-term.”
He added that the move is "expected to preserve the jobs of Friendly’s restaurant team members, who are the heart and soul of our enterprise and have been critical to the progress we have made in transforming this iconic brand.”
The press release states that Amici “expects to retain substantially all employees at Friendly’s corporate-owned restaurants.”
Friendly’s has requested a mid-December date from the bankruptcy court to approve the sale and confirm the bankruptcy plan.