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New Friendly's CEO John Maguire wants chain to get back to basics
The Republican ^

Posted on 07/30/2012 4:02:31 PM PDT by matt04

Friendly’s future is going to look a lot like its past – its distant past – according to new CEO John M. Maguire.

It’ll be a future focused on ice cream and food standbys like Big Beefs, melts, fries and Fishamajigs, coupled with about five standard breakfast items.

Gone will be menu items that Maguire said just don’t fit with the consumer’s notion of Friendly’s: the bourbon barbecue chicken, the quesadilla.

“We have to focus on what our core customer wants,” he said. “I’m not sure anyone comes to Friendly’s for barbecue. But we have barbecue items on the menu.”

Maguire took the helm at Friendly’s about a month ago. And while Friendly’s is beloved here for its nostalgia, any discussion of the current restaurants is likely to focus on notoriously slow service and dirty, run-down restaurant locations.

Maguire wasn’t CEO during the bankruptcy, but he said the alternative would have been to close the chain. He said the bankruptcy saved 377 restaurants and about 5,700 jobs. It also freed up capital to invest in locations.

“I believe that in 12 to 18 months, Friendly’s can start growing again,” Maguire said. “If the locations are not making money, you can’t invest. You can’t grow. That’s when you get the debt coming in.”

...

As part of that bankruptcy, Friendly’s abandoned the company’s pension plan to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. In he next few months, Friendly’s 6,000 retirees will start getting payments from Pension Guaranty, said spokesman Marc Hopkins.

“No one will miss a payment,” he said.

But for some, those checks will be smaller. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. only backs up pensions to a certain maximum: in Friendly’s case, it is $54,000 a year for someone who retired at age 65.

(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: friendlys; pensions; restaurants; wilbraham
Hopefully Maguire can get Friendly's back in the black. Maybe this time they will concentrate on hiring competent managers, cooks an waitstaff.
1 posted on 07/30/2012 4:02:38 PM PDT by matt04
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To: matt04

Working at Friendly’s was my very first job ever. I was 15 1/2. I loved it. Northgate Plaza in Revere, MA.


2 posted on 07/30/2012 4:04:45 PM PDT by USMCWife6869
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To: matt04

Thank you for posting this, Matt. I saw the hardcopy briefly today..it was being read by someone who knows Friendly’s frontwards and backwards..Needless to say,he was pleased as am I to see the company back in competent hands again. I wish them well.


3 posted on 07/30/2012 4:06:17 PM PDT by SueRae (See it? Hell, I can TASTE November from my house!)
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To: matt04

wow have you got a long way to go. get rid of all that hershey’s crap. dump the laminated menus. get real or get out.


4 posted on 07/30/2012 4:07:51 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: USMCWife6869
one of my first jobs was running to the takeout window in Natick to get my father's coffee.

Best times of my life.

5 posted on 07/30/2012 4:09:52 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: matt04

nah. nope. those days aren’t coming back for them anymore than they’re coming back for Dunkin’ Donuts.


6 posted on 07/30/2012 4:11:58 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: matt04

I used to eat at a Friendly’s in Japan.


7 posted on 07/30/2012 4:13:52 PM PDT by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Whats wrong with Hersheys?


8 posted on 07/30/2012 4:13:52 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Many post-church-youth-group-dance meals at the one in Marlton, NJ. Had a crush on a classmate who worked there, but it wasn’t because of the blue waitress uniforms she wore.


9 posted on 07/30/2012 4:14:40 PM PDT by JeffChrz (ObamaCare is now ObamaTax. Vote for Romney.)
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To: matt04

I was pushed though a Friendly front door glass once when I was a teenager ....we were running across Hwy 35 in NJ and the girl behind me thought the door pushed in rather than pull out....I stopped to open the door and she pushed me right though the glass....

Man the mgr was pissed.....I was completely unscathed....

Don’t show me face for months ....LOL


10 posted on 07/30/2012 4:20:23 PM PDT by Popman (In a place you only dream of Where your soul is always free)
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To: matt04

I hope they bring back the original French Fries. Those were awesome!


11 posted on 07/30/2012 4:21:11 PM PDT by Andy'smom
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To: DesertRhino
Whats wrong with Hersheys?

Nothing, I suppose. But you buy that at the drug store, not at Friendly's.

"cross branding" is so '70s.

12 posted on 07/30/2012 4:21:55 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: matt04

Friendly’s buttercrunch ice cream...THE BEST!!!!


13 posted on 07/30/2012 4:30:13 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: matt04

Friendly’s is one of those places that everyone likes, but few go there as a first choice. I think the CEO has to try something, and it makes sense, but I think they have a tough hill to climb.


14 posted on 07/30/2012 4:32:07 PM PDT by BRL
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To: matt04

Just don’t pander to >2% of the population and alienate everyone else with vicious, in-your-face, ‘we’re here we’re queer’ advertising. You will be fine.


15 posted on 07/30/2012 4:39:50 PM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Or is it <2%?

Two glasses of wine and all keys start looking alike.


16 posted on 07/30/2012 4:41:01 PM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: matt04

That had better start analyzing what works and emulate.

Role models: Smashburger, RedRobin, Applebees, In and Out, Panera, Olive Garden. For desert, self serve frozen yougurt. Premium coffee from Starbucks, Seattle’s Best etc. This is what we’re lining up to buy.


17 posted on 07/30/2012 4:41:54 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: BRL
Friendly’s is one of those places that everyone likes, but few go there as a first choice. I think the CEO has to try something, and it makes sense, but I think they have a tough hill to climb.

Friendly's is a place to go to if you're not in a hurry to get anywhere. Anywhere I go, it takes a long time to get your food. Solve that problem and customer interest would pick up. Love their "melt" sandwiches, though.

18 posted on 07/30/2012 4:49:43 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (If I can't be persuasive, I at least hope to be fun.)
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To: USMCWife6869
I grew up in Revere in the 1970s - walking distance from the Friendly's at Northgate Plaza and I went there many times. It's been over 30 years since I lived there but I still drive by there once in a while. Northgate is still there but the Almy's and Zayre's are long gone, along with the Friendly's, I believe.

I haven't been to a Friendly's in 20 years. The late 1980s was when they started going bad. My wife and I walked into one around 1990 and sat at a table for about 20 minutes before walking out and never going back. They gave us our menus and just left us sitting there.

Another time before that, one of the teenage workers was scooping out ice cream with dirty hands.

19 posted on 07/30/2012 4:52:07 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: matt04

Hopefully they can successfully go back to their “Chain Diner” type of food offerings with great ice cream....at a reasonable price to get people to come back...With Better Fries!

I’ll have a Big Beef Set-Up (medium rare)and a Coffee Fribble :)

(I worked a bit as a Friendly’s Waitress years ago, didn’t like it - pooled tips....too socialist.)


20 posted on 07/30/2012 4:55:28 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Check my profile page for the FReeper Online Cookbook 2011)
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To: matt04
Our kids enjoyed going to their 'take out' window for ice cream. It's tough finding a good place for ice cream that's doesn't cost and arm and a leg, like Baskin Robbins does.

The kids also enjoyed their Kids Meals that came with the dessert.

21 posted on 07/30/2012 5:14:18 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: matt04
I’m not sure anyone comes to Friendly’s for barbecue.

He's not sure? And he's the CEO? I bet someone on his staff could figure it out for him.

22 posted on 07/30/2012 5:31:54 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Right Wing Assault

This guy is a breath of fresh air. They practically killed the goose that was laying the golden egg. Friendly’s was, and should be, an ice cream shop. This junk they have been peddling is not edible.


23 posted on 07/30/2012 5:41:59 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (I just hate our government. All of them. Republican and Democrat.)
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To: Vermont Lt

Yeah, I remember it as ice cream and then I notice what seemed like restaurants and wondered what the heck was going on.


24 posted on 07/30/2012 7:02:06 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: matt04

I’ve been to Friendly’s twice and the service was HIDEOUS both times. Slow, the food was NOT what I ordered, and then it took so long to get it that I ate the wrong order anyway. And then the check was wrong!

Bad, bad and worse. Good luck fixing it.


25 posted on 07/30/2012 7:29:40 PM PDT by DNME (Tired of being polite about it? Time for action? Reawaken the Sons of Liberty!)
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To: matt04
Friendly's can start by bringing back a regulation sized HALF-GALLON of ice cream. The public would be willing to pay the extra cents, just stop short-changing us and bring back a half-gallon.

Our family bought Hagan-Daz PINTS for years and years. The day the company decided to short-change the public by getting rid of their pints and charging the same amount is the day we stopped buying Hagan-Daz. Haven't bought one faux-pint since, even though we love their Vanilla-Swiss Almond ice cream. We would have been willing to pay the extra to maintain receiving a full pint of their ice cream (like Ben and Jerry's still does), but since they wanted to screw us over by playing the "it looks nearly the same, but it isn't, even though we are charging you the same amount of money and more" game.

The same holds true for Friendly's ice cream.

26 posted on 07/30/2012 7:38:04 PM PDT by Jmouse007 (Lord deliver us from evil, in Jesus name, amen.)
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