Friendly's has closed restaurants in Hamburg, Amherst, Lancaster and Jamestown. They are among 14 across New York State and another nine locations shuttered abruptly across New England.
The only Western New York location remaining open at this time is in Olean.
Friendly’s released a letter sent to franchisees by CEO George Michel, which said that the restaurants that are closing include 14 in upstate New York, three in Massachusetts, three in Connecticut, two in New Hampshire and one in Maine.
Michel said that the company is accelerating efforts “to reinvigorate the Friendly’s brand” in the face of shifting demographics and consumer preferences. He says closing the 23 corporate-owned restaurants was a tough decision, but says that it will help position the brand for the future.
The company said the hundreds of affected employees were informed personally of the closings and are being offered job opportunities at other locations or severance payments.
There remains a total of 174 Friendly's restaurants open across the country, 97 of them owned by franchisees.