Boosting Profits the 'Friendly' Way

Sometimes, the only way to advise an employer on how to increase the bottom line is to roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and put a 'closed' sign on some of your most popular ventures.

Something like this certainly does not happen overnight; internal auditors, controllers and other financial personnel work for months, and sometimes years, in helping make a cost-cutting decision.

Take, for example, Friendly Ice Cream Corp. and their chain of more than 600 Friendly's Restaurants. After a buyout from the Hershey Corporation a few years back, the company now has shut down 80 stores that were performing less than expected, and announced plans to close 70 more in the next several years.

The company also eliminated about 10 percent of its workforce, and looks at the closings and layoffs as the only way to increase profits in light of a declining restaurant sector focusing on family dining with chains like Friendly's and Denny's.

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