Friendly’s has been home to some of the nation’s best ice cream sundaes since its opening as a small Massachusetts ice cream shop in 1935. When the second shop opened in 1940, a hamburger was added to the menu. By 1951, Friendly, as it was known from the beginning, was a successful ten-shop chain in Massachusetts and Connecticut. By 1974, the franchise exploded in size, now having 500 locations and a well-rounded menu.
When Friendly was sold in 1974 to Hershey Foods Corporation, their ice cream sundaes took on a new dimension with the addition of many popular Hershey candies. Friendly changed hands again in 1988, being bought by Donald N. Smith who changed the name a year later to “Friendly’s.”
Ten years later, Friendly’s introduced one of its most popular desserts, the Cyclone. The six original flavours of this soft-serve treat included Reese’s, Oreo, Peanut Butter Cup, Snickers, M&M’s, Fudge Brownie, and Strawberry Banana. To continue with the many changes, a new food and dessert menu was introduced the following year. The year 2003 brought many structural changes as Friendly’s restaurants around the nation began updating their buildings.
In 2004, the Cyclone was replaced by Friendly’s Friend-z Soft Serve, but the attraction did not wane. The same great flavours and taste are still being made for every guest’s enjoyment. Over the coming years, ice cream cakes and other new ice cream products and flavours were introduced. Both the meal and dessert menus have continued to flourish as new concept restaurants and locations have been opened.
Although the original 5-cent double-dipped cones from 1935 have been replaced by a whole slew of new sweets, treats, and meals, Friendly’s concept has remained the same. The restaurant has successfully maintained its vision to be a family-friendly place “where ice cream makes the meal.”
In concordance with their original strong community and family values, Friendly’s has continued to find new ways to reach out to those around them. In the last ten years, Friendly’s has introduced events such as “Free Ice Cream Day”, “Cones for Kids”, and other special community events. Promotional contests such as “iScream Friendly’s” or the recent “Friendly’s Factory Takeover Sweepstakes” have been outstandingly popular. Friendly’s is also currently offering summer camps throughout the nation for kids, including those with disabilities.
Friendly’s website has worked to keep up with popular media as well. In 2009, Friendly’s joined Facebook and Twitter. A new parents section of the website offers a special rewards program to help reward children who complete homework or chores. Nutrition information also helps parents and their children make wise choices when dining at Friendly’s. The kids department on the website offers fun online games involving virtual ice cream sundaes and soft serve!
For those who cannot get enough of Friendly’s, there is a new benefit program called “Best Friend of Friendly’s.” This membership program offers Friendly’s lovers special offers and discounts, birthday offers, special event information, newsletters, and updates about new products. Even better, the BFF program is free!
Other discount coupons for Friendly’s are commonly found in Sunday newspaper advertisements. However, in the past year, there have been invalid ice cream coupons circulating on the internet. In April of 2009, Friendly’s warned that unless the ice cream coupon was issued through the BFF program, it would not be accepted. Coupons and discounts are best found in newspaper advertisements and through Friendly’s free BFF program.
If you’ve yet to discover the wonder of Friendly’s, a visit is in order. The entire menu, both meal and dessert, is listed on the website as well as a frequently updated list of new products and flavours. Regardless of whether you review your many choices on the internet or in the restaurant, your time at Friendly’s will be an experience your family (and friends) will never forget.