WILBRAHAM, MA: Friendly’s Restaurants has picked BizCom Associates as its PR AOR.
The agency started working with the restaurant chain at the start of this year. BizCom is planning to execute an integrated PR and digital program to honor the brand’s heritage and highlight family friendly offerings that are planned for this year.
The agency will also provide support with media relations and influencer campaigns. BizCom is in the initial planning phase of a multistate influencer campaign, which is set to kick off in March, said Monica Feid, cofounder and president of BizCom.
This month, Friendly’s was acquired by Amici Partners Group, an investor group affiliated with Brix Holdings, the restaurant company behind Red Mango, Smoothie Factory, Souper Salad and other franchises. The sale took place more than two months after Friendly’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and disclosed its intentions to sell to Amici, reportedly for just under $2 million.
BizCom distributed a press release about the acquisition. The firm is also arranging interviews with key franchising, trade and business media outlets that have followed the Friendly’s brand, said Feid.
“We are sharing the successful acquisition news, which involves some of the nation’s most experienced restaurant executives now at the helm of the Friendly’s brand, focused on menu innovation and customer experience,” she explained. “We also are communicating across the network and to the public at large that 130 corporate-owned and franchised restaurant locations are open and operating within local pandemic guidelines and will remain a staple in their communities.”
Friendly’s new ownership is focusing on menu innovation, a re-energized marketing program and establishing a better overall experience for new customers and loyal patrons alike, the chain said in a statement.
It did not hold a formal review for its PR account.
“There was no formal RFP,” said Sylvia Becker, senior director of marketing for Friendly’s. “BizCom has had a successful and long-standing relationship with Brix Holdings, which is affiliated with Amici Partners, supporting its other food and restaurant franchise networks.”
New York City-based LAK Public Relations was the incumbent. An agency representative did not reply to inquiries seeking comment.
BizCom VP Melissa Rubin and digital director Sarah Lofdahl are leading account work with support from their teams and the agency’s media relations division. Budget information was not disclosed.
Friendly’s, which was founded in 1935, has shuttered more than 300 locations over the past decade. Today, it consists of 130 franchised and corporate-owned locations.