Years ago, getting a job at Friendly’s meant that you had a career that you could depend on until you decided to retire. Friendly’s had a reputation for one of the lowest turnover rates in the restaurant business. Slowly, the restaurant’s reputation went downhill; and by 2011, it had gotten so bad that company stores and franchisees were shutting down in epic numbers.
With a history like that, you must wonder why anyone would want to take a chance on getting a job at Friendly’s now. The reasons are simple. In 2012, a new CEO was hired; and with the effort of a giant, he has turned everything around. He listened to the front line staff about working conditions, hours, pay, and management attitudes. He listened to the customers about the food and service quality. And he has now changed everything—for the very much better!
Customers are reporting directly to him and his assistants at the corporate office via Twitter and Facebook about their experiences. Servers, cooks, and greeters are joining in with photos of their stores and commenting about the way managers are handling their concerns and issues.
Unlike many corporations, Friendly’s corporate office is personally in charge of monitoring and responding directly to customer and staff issues online. The CEO wants to know what is really happening on the floor. The menu has been changed to reflect what customers want now. The requirements for becoming a manager have shifted from college degrees to proven people skills. And if you want to know if it’s working, check out their Facebook and Twitter sites for yourself. Then run to the nearest Friendly’s and fill out a Friendly’s application before everyone finds out how great the tune-up has turned out to be.
To find an available position and submit a Friendly’s application online, click here. All the current job openings for restaurants, creamery and distribution centers, and corporate offices will be displayed. At the top of the list, you can narrow the search using the drop-down boxes, choosing state, city, and job category. Just as the original entrepreneurs who started this business with no more than a high school education and a desire to make some money selling ice cream in their neighborhood, you don’t need more than a high school diploma to become one of Friendly’s restaurant managers today. Check out some Friendly’s careers open for your first step into the world of business. The job opening pages list franchisees that have openings. However, in order to find out what jobs are available, you are directed to visit the particular store in person. In other words, you cannot access a Friendly’s job application form online for these.
The most common positions that are available on a consistent basis are for servers, cooks, and greeters. But there are openings occasionally for hourly managers, back-of-house managers, and front-of-house managers. Wages are not stated online, but current employees are satisfied with the pay rates and hours that they are getting. Using the Apply button that presents a Friendly’s application is the fastest way to land one of these positions. Friendly’s offers wages that are industry comparable for all its employees.
Working in a place that serves food requires extreme cleanliness, and that cannot be overstated. Every employee should expect to have the dreaded “side work” assignment for each shift worked. Those who are new to restaurant work feel like they are doing housekeeping work. If you hate cleaning, don’t bother to apply for a job in any restaurant.
Friendly’s was built on the concept of serving neighbors, and this is the culture that is being revived today. On your application or resume, provide a couple of examples of why treating every customer like a neighbor is important to you personally. Then talk about it during your interview.
Instead of submitting a Friendly’s employment application because you need a job, do so because you want to work at this particular company and make a difference in your neighborhood. Find out which charities and community events that your store sponsors, and let it be known that you would like to participate if at all possible.
If you are considering applying for a management position, state clearly why you think you would make a good manager. Provide examples of experiences where you have managed people and resolved problems on the fly. Talk about the importance you place on employees and how you would handle an interview if you were asked to do so. Give examples of questions you would ask an applicant, and answer them yourself.
For specific benefits for the position that you are interested in, submit your completed Friendly’s application and ask the manager when you are interviewed.
The CEO, John Maguire, who took over in April 2012 and is turning things around in a positive way, actually logs on to the Friendly’s Facebook site and chats with their followers. How many CEOs can you name who care enough about their customers to talk to them personally via anything? No wonder he told the Boston Herald in a recent interview that he heard their customers “loud and clear.” He was getting all the complaints handed to him every time he logged on in that first year!
Friendly’s used to serve freshly made burgers and, several years ago, in an attempt to save money, switched to premade frozen burgers. As of March 2014, they have switched back and instructed all restaurants to toss out the frozen pucks. And as of April 29, 2014, John Maguire is running ads telling everyone that if a customer is unhappy with a meal because of quality or service, Friendly’s will pay for it—not part of it, all of it.
If you want to see what’s happening right now at Friendly’s, check out their tweets or follow them on Twitter. You’ll get a wealth of information about the value that Friendly’s places on customer experience.
Friendly’s has three managers on duty during business hours. This allows each manager the proper time to train and oversee the functions of his area with less stress. Sharing the duties means sharing the responsibility for great customer experience and excellent time management. There is no excuse for failing to notice work or quality falling through the cracks.
You can find your Friendly’s employment application form here: