January is a time of new beginnings, and Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC, a Wilbraham-based chain of “family friendly restaurants,” is tweaking its mojo with a menu upgrade.
In the 1950s and ‘60s when Elvis was truly the King and every red-blooded lad coveted a Corvette or a two-seat Thunderbird, a Friendly’s restaurant could be an iconic part of a New England town’s Main Street, the culinary equivalent of a Norman Rockwell painting, only with a menu of sundaes and SuperMelts.
But times have changed in the 78 or so years since the first Friendly’s opened, and today the company is scrambling to stay au currant. Part of this effort includes an enhanced menu.
According to a recent Friendly’s press release, “new additions include creative takes on classic dishes as well as an array of healthy meal options.”
At breakfast, for example, a customer can now chow down on Bananas Foster Pancakes, Brioche French Toast, or Red Velvet Waffles. Another option is “Steel Cut Oatmeal.”
Later in the day customers can choose a Turkey Tip Avocado Salad. Or for the beef lover: The Burger Salad, which allows “diners to enjoy their favorite Big Beef burger on top of mixed greens, crispy bacon, Fronions, grape tomatoes, and both cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.”
And for a limited time, the chain said it will be serving up “cups and cones of Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Supreme ice cream, which features toasted marshmallow ice cream with chopped peanut butter cups and swirls of toffee ripple.”
Friendly’s not only operates a chain of restaurants, many of them franchised, but also sells ice cream at supermarkets and other retail outlets. Together with its broad franchisee base, the company said it has system-wide sales of more than $550 million and distribution through over 8,000 retail locations.