The Friendly’s restaurant in Windham closed May 27, following the closure in early April of the chain’s Augusta location.
The Friendly’s in South Portland is now the company’s last Maine location.
“The lease expired. Thirty-two employees are affected, and 10 have been transferred to other restaurants so far, with the company working to transfer as many more employees as possible,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
She said no more closures are planned and that the South Portland location by the Maine Mall remains open.
The Maine Department of Labor said Thursday that it has scheduled a rapid response session to help affected workers for June 4 at 10 a.m. at the Windham Town Office.
“Losing a job is a difficult experience, and we are sorry to hear about the employees of the Friendly’s in Windham,” Commissioner Laura Fortman said.
She said the department will have staff in Windham who can help workers identify future career options and provide information about health insurance and unemployment benefits.
The restaurant chain, based in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, was founded in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression.
Its recent bumpy ride began in October 2011, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Since then, the chain has closed more than 100 restaurants.
In an April 8 letter to franchisees, Friendly’s CEO George Michel said the restaurant plans to refresh its menu, focus on delivery and catering options, and improve the overall restaurant experience for customers.
“As we mentioned earlier this year, we initiated a strategic assessment of our corporate-owned restaurant footprint, with an eye toward ongoing viability and maximizing resource investment,” Michel wrote.
“In today’s environment, it is incumbent upon all restaurant operators to engage in such a process, but particularly so for Friendly’s, which, as an established brand, has locations in geographic areas that have changed dramatically in some cases since those restaurants first opened.”
The company said in April that it was closing 23 corporate-owned restaurants, effective immediately, including the Augusta location.