WILBRAHAM Mass. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., the operator of the 505-unit Friendly's family-dining chain, has named industry veteran Ned R. Lidvall president and chief executive.
Lidvall succeeds George Condos, who announced his retirement several months ago. Most recently, Lidvall was president and chief executive of Boulder, Colo.-based Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc.
Previously, Lidvall held senior positions with On the Border Cafes before it was acquired by Brinker International, Chi-Chi's Inc. and Western Sizzlin Inc.
Friendly was purchased last year by Sun Capital Partners Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla.-based private-equity firm, for about $337.2 million. Sun Capital also holds controlling interests or has investment stakes in Bruegger's Enterprises Inc., Fazoli's Restaurants, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., Real Mex Restaurants Inc. and Restaurants Unlimited.
In addition to operating and franchising the family restaurant brand, the 73-year-old Friendly Ice Cream Corp. also manufactures ice cream that is sold in more than 4,000 supermarkets and other retail outlets.
Scott T. King, managing director of Sun Capital, said in a statement that Lidvall "brings to Friendly's a creativity, financial acumen and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the restaurant business, including the ability to build franchises and develop innovative new restaurant concepts."