Skip to comments.New Friendly's CEO John Maguire wants chain to get back to basics
Posted on 07/30/2012 4:02:31 PM PDT by matt04
Friendlys future is going to look a lot like its past its distant past according to new CEO John M. Maguire.
Itll 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 dont fit with the consumers notion of Friendlys: the bourbon barbecue chicken, the quesadilla.
We have to focus on what our core customer wants, he said. Im not sure anyone comes to Friendlys for barbecue. But we have barbecue items on the menu.
Maguire took the helm at Friendlys about a month ago. And while Friendlys 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 wasnt 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, Friendlys can start growing again, Maguire said. If the locations are not making money, you cant invest. You cant grow. Thats when you get the debt coming in.
As part of that bankruptcy, Friendlys abandoned the companys pension plan to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. In he next few months, Friendlys 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 Friendlys case, it is $54,000 a year for someone who retired at age 65.
(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...
Working at Friendly’s was my very first job ever. I was 15 1/2. I loved it. Northgate Plaza in Revere, MA.
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.
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.
Best times of my life.
nah. nope. those days aren’t coming back for them anymore than they’re coming back for Dunkin’ Donuts.
I used to eat at a Friendly’s in Japan.
Whats wrong with Hersheys?
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.
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
I hope they bring back the original French Fries. Those were awesome!
Nothing, I suppose. But you buy that at the drug store, not at Friendly's.
"cross branding" is so '70s.
Friendly’s buttercrunch ice cream...THE BEST!!!!
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.
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.
Or is it <2%?
Two glasses of wine and all keys start looking alike.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The kids also enjoyed their Kids Meals that came with the dessert.
He's not sure? And he's the CEO? I bet someone on his staff could figure it out for him.
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.
Yeah, I remember it as ice cream and then I notice what seemed like restaurants and wondered what the heck was going on.
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.
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.