By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor

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.

READ: List Of Closed Friendly’s Restaurants

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.

Listen to the report

Comments (2)
  1. Nosgood4me says:

    I dont see it.. Friendlly’s has great food excellent staff. clean tables.
    Most of all NO TV’s and NO Radio !
    Go ahead keep taking good stores away… at this point im rather comfortable staying home and prepairing my own food. this is BS

    1. elaw says:

      I completely agree! I’ve been a Friendly’s customer for ~40 years and have never had a complaint with the food, atmosphere, or pricing. Service was pretty slow at times in the past but that seems to have improved in the past few years. Now my only option is to go to the 99 and pay twice as much for worse-quality food and a noisy atmosphere. And no ice cream!

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