October 5, 2011 by staff
Friendly’s Bankruptcy, While it is business as usual at Friendly’s restaurants, at least for now, the company has reported on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection as changing tastes and competition mushrooms.
Revenues have been a constant downhill in recent years, but the regional chain with more than 500 centers and 10,000 employees retains many loyal customers who grew up in ice cream and sandwiches. They are still nostalgic for Wilbraham-based company that has fallen on hard times and a reported $ 200 million in debt.
In the Berkshires, kind operates restaurants in Lee, Lenox, North Adams, Pittsfield and Great Barrington.
In the Great Barrington location which opened in November 1965, Wayne Soldati, 55, who grew up in the city, said he was “very disappointed” by fierce winds chain finance.
A resident of San Francisco for the past 25 years, still haunts Friendly Soldati when you return to your family.
“I’ve always liked is nice and make it a point to come here for my favorite move of milk and a sandwich vanilla Fishamajig” he said. “I have nothing but good memories of what the news is disturbing and sad.”
Soldati said past problems with the service “became a lot of people.”
Waiting for an interview with the manager of one waitress, Colleen Nowobilski Great Barrington, said he was particularly fond of milkshakes and indicated Fribble She is hoping she can get the job despite the setbacks of the company.
The Friendly Ice Cream Corporation has gone through a revolving door of corporate owners and shaking from the 1980′s.
The weak economy has had a big bite out of the restaurant chain, a lot of revenue, and higher prices for basic food supplies are suffering from the baseline.
“Friendly has a policy of not commenting on rumors in the media or market,” spokeswoman Lynn Bolton at the headquarters of Wilbraham.
“Like many restaurant chains that are feeling the impact of the economic downturn, rising raw material prices and a difficult market. We are working with our creditors, food and management team to explore alternatives to strengthen our financial base. ”
Options include a possible sale reported or Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company is looking for and $ 70 million in financing from Wells Fargo & Co. to tide over, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“In view of this, it is a good candidate to use Chapter 11 to restructure the company or to sell without selling,” said Jesse Cook’s lawyer, Dubin, a specialist in business bankruptcy, with Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti and Cook in Pittsfield.
He noted that in the last decade, a Chapter 11 has been used most often to sell the financially distressed companies.
But emphasizing that has no direct knowledge of the circumstances of Friendly, Cook-Dubin said that unless the company has a pending sale before going into bankruptcy, “is a dangerous landscape, especially for people who work there . It is life in a fishbowl, as their jobs are on the line. ”
Founded by brothers Blake Presley and Curtis in 1935 during the Great Depression as a small group of ice cream stores, more recent owners have included Hershey Food Corp. and since 2007, Florida private equity firm, Sun Capital Partners Inc .
The chain has been a fixture in New England, reaching the height of its popularity after the Second World War, when competition was limited.
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