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The Friendly Toast: Sneak peek of the 12th location during Saturday’s soft-opening

Dan Splaine

NASHUA, NH – The Friendly Toast opens the doors to its newest location in Nashua on May 20, but held a “soft opening” over the weekend to work out the kinks – and we’ve got your sneak preview.

This is the 12th location the popular independent restaurant company operates in New England. The new 5,260-square-foot restaurant has seating for 156 guests in the dining room and bar areas and operates the largest kitchen in the company. 

A self-described “all-day brunch and bar spot,” they will be debuting an all-new 75-item menu of made-from-scratch food.  The new location has a fun vibe with eclectic decor that is warm and welcoming. 

The original Friendly Toast opened in 1994 in Portsmouth. In 2014 partners Scott Pulver and Eric Goodwin purchased the then two-location company and began the transformation of the brand.  After an initial time to get a handle on the business, they began a deliberate pattern of growth, taking time to build a positive company culture, brand standards, and a solid management team.

Locating in Nashua was a strategic business decision according to Goodwin.

“We really wanted to plant our flag in south Nashua which is the epicenter of the business community. When this location became available we lept at it,” he said.

The location choice was all business and just also a bit nostalgic. In the 1970s Eric’s father was a manager of the iconic Green Ridge Turkey farm, which stood for decades in the same spot as the new Friendly Toast stands today. The building was razed in the early 1990s to make room for the Barnes and Noble store.

“This is full circle for me, I was brought up in the Green Ridge Turkey Farm, and I’m really excited to be here,”  Goodwin said. Not only was his father the manager his first job was as a dishwasher at the landmark restaurant.   “My Dad was an old-time restaurant guy so for me to spend time with him I started working there as a dishwasher and worked my way up.”  That job was his introduction to the industry, witnessing firsthand the demands of the long hours, and ultimately how that work-life imbalance affected his family.

Those lessons were not lost on him; they have become part of the company culture they have built.  “We are really proud of the culture we have and our core values. You know it is really important for us to be great employers, to provide our team with opportunity, and benefits, we are very focused on our team having a quality life-work balance.”

That is reflected in the day-oriented operating schedule with an absence of late-night hours in more traditional restaurants. They also mandate lower hours for their management team than a typical restaurant to keep them passionate and content with the work.  That, and a commitment to training and standards makes for a great dining experience.

The new location will open on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Friendly Toast will be celebrating with photo ops, activities for customers, and a live radio remote broadcast with Greg & The Morning Buzz, which will be raffling off gift cards to The Friendly Toast and 3-day passes to Boston Calling.

Goodwin is quite nostalgic about the connection to his origins and the memories of the work experience of his father.  They are also the foundation of his company’s operating principles

“Happy Team, Happy Business,”  which makes for happy customers.