Friendly’s to Open First Friendly’s Express Restaurant in Mansfield
New concept marks chain’s entrée into the fast-casual category
WILBRAHAM, Mass.; August 4, 2009 – Friendly’s, a family dining chain of more than 500 restaurants, announced today that the company’s first Friendly’s Express unit, a new fast-casual concept, will open in Mansfield, Massachusetts on August 5, 2009.
Friendly’s Express offers customers everything they love about Friendly’s, made faster – an average of 25 minutes per visit, versus 45 minutes at a traditional Friendly’s. The restaurant features a limited menu of Friendly’s favorites – like SuperMelt™ Sandwiches, Friendly’s Big Beef® Burgers, salads and kids’ meals – and, of course, Friendly’s signature ice cream desserts.
The short service time (an average of six to eight minutes from ordering to service) makes Friendly’s Express perfect for quick but satisfying office lunch breaks, and easy for moms out running errands with their children. While guests will place orders at the counter, food will be delivered to each customer’s table, eliminating the need for moms to juggle food, kids and shopping bags when picking up food at a counter. When guests are ready for ice cream, they can place a numbered tag on the edge of their table and a food runner will bring them their desserts.
The smaller footprint of Friendly’s Express allows it to fit into a wide variety of retail formats, from strip malls and lifestyle centers. The first Friendly’s Express has an indoor seating capacity of 42 with seating for 32 on the patio.
“Friendly’s Express is a win-win for our customers and for our company,” said Jim Sullivan, Friendly’s Vice President of Franchising & Development. “This concept allows our customers to enjoy our great food in a short time period that fits their busy lifestyles. The concept works for our company because it allows us to expand rapidly into new real estate formats, while offering franchisees a property with a lower start-up cost and shorter turn-around time.”
Friendly’s designed a custom kitchen to expedite the cooking process. The bright, cheery Friendly’s Express design incorporates the signature Friendly’s red elements throughout, along with bright tiles and custom pop-art of Friendly’s ice cream creations.
“We worked hard for over a year on Friendly’s Express, talking with consumers and franchisees to hone the concept,” continued Sullivan. “They talked and we listened, delivering a new concept that we all believe in. Friendly’s Express symbolizes the momentum and future of our brand.”
About Friendly Ice Cream Corporation
Friendly Ice Cream Corporation is a vertically integrated restaurant company serving signature sandwiches, entrees and ice cream desserts in a friendly, family environment in more than 500 company and franchised restaurants throughout the Northeast. The company also manufactures ice cream, which is distributed through more than 4,000 supermarkets and other retail locations. With a 74-year operating history, Friendly's enjoys strong brand recognition and is currently revitalizing its restaurants and introducing new products to grow its customer base. For additional information please visit www.friendlys.com.
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