Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC, the operator of Friendly’s restaurants and a distributor of ice cream products in leading supermarkets, today announced that John M. Maguire, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Maguire is an experienced executive with more than two decades of experience in fast casual restaurant operations, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Panera Bread.
At Panera, Maguire held positions of increasing responsibility over 19 years, managing many different functions including restaurants, franchising, commissary operations, bakery supply chain, manufacturing, catering, and joint venture operations. Maguire previously held positions with Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., Bread and Circus/Whole Foods Supermarkets, and Continental Baking Company.
In his new role, Maguire will work closely with management to build on recent successful initiatives that have led to higher customer satisfaction ratings, improved speed of service, and higher same-store sales in 2012.
“I bring a lot of passion to Friendly’s because it’s a brand I grew up with,” said Maguire, a Massachusetts native. “I am honored to lead an iconic company that my family and many others have turned to for quality meals and ice cream over the years. I am confident that we can not only build on our rich history, but also exceed our customers’ expectations with our food and service.”
Maguire succeeds Harsha V. Agadi, who resigned in February to pursue other opportunities but remains on the Friendly’s Board of Directors. James Parrish, who has served as interim CEO, will return to his primary role as Chief Operating Officer, working closely with Maguire and the Friendly’s team on future growth.
“John Maguire brings a wide range of operating experience and management talents to Friendly’s,” said Christopher Metz, Managing Director at Sun Capital Partners, a leading private investment firm whose affiliate owns Friendly’s. “His proven track record at Panera and in the restaurant industry will help move Friendly’s forward. John understands what it takes to resonate with customers, associates, and franchisees, and we are confident that recent operating and financial performance improvements have provided helpful momentum for John and the management team as they focus on the long-term success of the brand. We also want to thank Jim Parrish for leading Friendly’s during this period of transition.”
“Watching the growth of Panera Bread in recent years, I’m excited that John Maguire is joining the company as we build for the next phase of Friendly’s growth,” said Joe Vitrano, President of J&B Restaurant Partners, the largest Friendly’s franchisee.
Maguire attended Kansas State University and recently completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC is a new, vertically integrated restaurant company, with a legendary brand name, serving signature sandwiches, entrees and ice cream desserts in a friendly, family environment. Together with its broad franchisee base, the company has system-wide sales of over $550 million and distribution through over 7,500 retail locations. For over 76 years, Friendly’s restaurants and dedicated service teams have delighted generations of guests. For the future, Friendly’s has plans for new food and ice cream products, enhanced buildings, and new service channels. For additional information please visit www.friendlys.com.
Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in companies that can benefit from its in–house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 300 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since Sun Capital’s inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as affiliates in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Shenzhen. For more information, please visit www.SunCapPart.com.