BOSTON (CBS) – Friendly’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday morning and it’s shutting down several restaurants in Massachusetts.
As part of the chain’s financial restructuring, they will close 63 of their restaurants and ice cream parlors.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports
WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports
30 of them are in Massachusetts.
424 will remain open.
Several people were caught off guard by the closings and posted angry comments on Friendly’s Facebook page.
“The strategic decision to pursue a financial restructuring will allow us to proactively and quickly improve our financial position and ensure we have the resources to build a better and stronger Friendly’s,” Chief Executive Harsha Agadi said in a statement.
Generations of parents have taken their children to Friendly’s for ice cream, lunch, dinner, or breakfast.
Helen Smolak has been a waitress and supervisor at the Dedham store for 27 years.
She told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Wednesday never saw this coming.
“Yesterday we were busier than heck. It was almost like our way of saying goodbye,” she said.
Fighting back tears, Smolak said the customers and her co-workers are like family to her.
Friendly’s is encouraging employees from closed locations to apply at other restaurants that are still open.
Friendly’s is based in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.