friendlys logo quad Increasing Traffic With A Refreshed Brand

Friendly’s has served up memories for customers since 1935. The name is what the company promises — a friendly place where families gather to enjoy delicious favorites. Its menu features classic made-to-order American fare, but patrons stay for the treat at the end of the meal — Friendly’s premium handmade ice cream.

Challenge

Foot-traffic in Friendly’s Restaurants was in steady decline for over two decades. Despite operational improvements, an enhanced menu, and a remodel program, traffic wasn’t improving. While customer surveys revealed brand sentiment remained positive, metrics still suffered because younger consumers no longer saw value in the brand. The new fast casual marketplace had left the business lagging behind and they needed to reposition the brand to appeal to millennial customers.

Solution

After a new management team took control of Friendly’s, their leadership worked with Quad’s brand experts to understand why traffic had fallen so far behind. After auditing Friendly’s data, immediate opportunities to improve were identified. The answer was simple — Friendly’s had lost track of what originally made it successful, the focus on ice cream and value. Quad’s creative team worked on ways to rediscover the original brand, modernizing it for a new generation of customers. This refresh gave restaurant locations an updated appearance and revamped the in-store strategy by putting dessert first, while incorporating a “Fiver” meal deal and the $1.99 ice cream cone to drive traffic. Next, the team developed brand guidelines and a go-to-market creative strategy to establish consistency. The new positioning was the basis to source and vet a broadcast agency partner, and coordinate outbound messaging across all media channels. 

Impact

  • New creative strategy created true multichannel integration
  • Increased traffic for the first time in more than two decades
  • Attracted new customers by appealing to the millennial target audience