Joseph Vitrano, owner of a Ronkonkoma-based Friendly’s restaurant group that includes all 33 Long Island franchises, has now doubled in size with the purchase of 32 more Friendly’s – making him the nation’s top franchisee for the chain.
The restaurants newly acquired by J&B Restaurant Partners of NY are all in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York state. Vitrano said he plans to “remodel and refresh” them all.
Vitrano took control of the restaurants as of Monday.
He’s also made a commitment to build 19 new Friendly’s during the next seven years. In a news release, Vitrano listed his executive team, who will help run the 65-restaurant group. They are Gerry Snearly, chief financial officer; Greg Alagna, senior vice president for operations; and Dawn Petite, vice president for operations.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to expand the Friendly’s brand throughout the region,” Vitrano said in a prepared statement. “As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Friendly’s on Long Island, we are excited to extend the success of our decade-long relationship with Friendly’s through this transaction.”
The newly-bought restaurants include locations in Yonkers and Mount Kisco, N.Y.; Passaic and Toms River, N.J.; and Bridgeport and Danbury, Conn.
Photo shows Vitrano in April at a Friendly's restaurant in Jericho, surprising a customer with $400 in cash; it's part of the company's celebration of four decades operating on Long Island.