BOSTON (CBS) – Facing mounting debt, the Friendly’s ice cream chain headquartered in Wilbraham has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 63 restaurants have been closed immediately, 30 of them in Massachusetts, putting 1200 people out of work.
Friendly’s,which was started by two teen-aged brothers in Springfield in 1935, has been facing stiff competition and changing tastes for years.
Restaurant analyst Ron Paul of Technomic tells WBZ the family-style restaurant category has been losing market share for years. Paul says chains like Friendly’s have more competition than ever from below, and better competition from above. He says it’s not a good place for a business to be.
More in this report from WBZ New England Business Editor Anthony Silva.
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