Friendly’s Restaurants Franchising, a US-based restaurant chain serving burgers, sandwiches and ice creams, has opened a store in Orlando, Florida.

The addition bolsters the brand’s presence in Florida to three locations and extends its national footprint beyond 100 outlets along the US eastern seaboard.

The move is part of Friendly’s strategy to grow its brand across the country, targeting west of the Mississippi and the Sunbelt regions.

The Orlando restaurant is owned by Amol Kohli, a multi-unit franchisee who began his association with Friendly’s as a teenager.

Kohli opened his first Friendly’s in 2009 and has expanded his portfolio with the brand, reinforcing its presence on the East Coast.

Kohli said: “Being a Friendly’s franchise owner has opened many doors and afforded me many different opportunities. The leadership team believed in me when I was young and has supported me on my journey ever since.

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“I’m grateful for the network I’ve built and for the opportunity to have a brand-new location in Orlando. Friendly’s is a nostalgic novelty that’s meant to be shared and experienced. I’m honoured and humbled to have grown with the brand and into so many new communities.

“The dynamic business model combines an upscale diner and traditional ice cream parlour experience with a modern twist that has appealing menu items for everyone to share and enjoy. This multi-generational brand has flourished on the East Coast for decades and I’m privileged to be a part of that success with the newly designed location in Orlando.”

Friendly’s is increasing its number of locations, focusing on franchise and development plans.

It seeks to partner with experienced business owners and investors interested in expanding their portfolios.

It has plans to open three to five new restaurants next year.

The brand’s strategic initiatives include introducing a refreshed look in various markets, exploring co-branding opportunities, and maintaining an appealing and affordable menu.

Friendly’s parent company Brix Holdings CEO Sherif Mityas said: “The new restaurant is one of many more to come from Friendly’s as we continue to expand and share our beloved legacy brand. We’ve introduced new style and design concepts at the Orlando restaurant, which we plan to introduce on a grander scale in future locations.

“Amol and his team continue to exceed expectations and we believe this location will do outstanding under his leadership and guidance. We have a strong network of franchisees and are confident we’ll continue to usher in strong entrepreneurs who will bring the concept to new cities.”