Letters to the editor

Readers respond to articles on saving Friendly’s, attacks on referees


The article on the new CEO of Friendly’s was titled “John Maguire Has a Plan to Save Friendly’s” (August 25), but let’s be realistic. There are just too many options for fast-food places unless you come up with a promotion for people to think about Friendly’s once again. So how about Friendly’s institutes family prices: 99-cent ice cream cones, 99-cent hot dogs, 99-cent hamburgers, 99-cent french fries, 99-cent soft drinks. That’ll get ’em back, and then they’ll buy a half gallon of ice cream to take home.

Saul P. Heller / Salem

My kids love Friendly’s but the service kills me. Perhaps it is time to give it another try. We’ll see.



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Ah, Friendly’s, the same problems as Shaw’s and Stop Shop — not cheap enough to compete for the low end, not special enough to compete in the higher end. Life is tough for these mid-level retailers.


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Perhaps if they returned to their original menu and stopped trying to be like all the other chains out there. Make the focus on family, good food at decent prices, and most of all, the ice cream.


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I’m anything but an efficiency expert, but I’ve always had a problem with the way Friendly’s is laid out. The people who work there aren’t slow, it’s just that they have to take so many steps to go to different places to put together a single meal. It’s amazing they don’t all run into each other. It can be somewhat humorous if you are patient and not all that hungry.


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I first went to the Belmont Avenue Friendly’s in Springfield in the 1950s. The Big Beefs were the best hamburg around. I haven’t been in 10+ years, but this article brings back fond memories. I’ll give it another try.


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My son and I have shared many meals at various local Friendly’s over the years, in the same way I remember going with my grandmother when I was growing up. It had been such a tradition that when I told him most of our local shops were closing down, he cried for an hour. So I was thrilled to see Zac Bissonnette’s article about how the chain is working to revamp itself and bring back the memories. The problem is, though, that my son and I went today to the one Friendly’s that is still open in our area, and we waited for 10 minutes at the ice cream window and were ignored the entire time. No acknowledgment was made that we even existed. If Friendly’s is going to make its way back from the brink, it may want to be careful about alienating a paying (and hungry) public. I want them to be successful, but they are going to have to work much harder than what we just experienced.


Stephanie Weinfurt / Bolton


I appreciated Shira Springer’s essay on violence against sports referees (Perspective, August 25). Perhaps this is just the spark to ignite our Legislature to action. Although I am retired now, I continue to officiate high school sports. It is a shame that Massachusetts has no law to protect referees, while it seems to consider every other harebrained scheme to guide citizens from birth to death. Our national magazine, Referee, has mentioned this problem before. Each issue seems to have blurbs about senseless attacks and thuggery everywhere. In some cases, assaults are just brushed aside by the courts and reduced to slaps on the wrist. Other cases brought to trial have prompted guilty pleas in lieu of going to a jury, which would impose stiffer sentences. Thank you for exposing the problem.

Rich Paulsen / Woburn

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