Friendly’s Restaurants LLC, has filed for bankruptcy again and has an agreement to be sold to Amici Partners Group for just under $2 million. The parent company of the family-friendly restaurant chain, known for its Jim Dandy ice cream sundaes and Fribble milkshakes, made the announcement on Nov. 2. Almost all the 130 active Friendly’s locations will remain open and thousands of jobs will be preserved by the sale which is set to be complete in December.
As part of the deal, Friendly’s lenders have agreed to waive nearly $88 million in secured debt, according to court documents.
Friendly’s had been struggling since before the pandemic, closing hundreds of restaurants over the last decade and filing for bankruptcy in 2011. The chain had rebounded over the past two years, but COVID-19 restrictions became too much to overcome, the company said.
“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,” George Michel, CEO of Friendly’s owner FIC Restaurants, said in a statement. “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 reopened with limited capacity.”