Nathan’s Famous relaunches a classic fast food chain

(NEXSTAR) – Fancy a bit of nostalgia?

Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips, a chain of quick-service restaurants that once had more than 800 locations across the country, is relaunching as part of a virtual restaurant concept led by Nathan’s Famous.

Bringing the brand back, Nathan’s Famous initially plans to offer Arthur Treacher’s menu in ghost kitchens, many of which will feature items from other restaurant brands in the Nathan’s Famous “portfolio”.

Nathan’s has also “revamped” Arthur Treacher’s traditional menu to include “enhanced protein” and a greater emphasis on shrimp. The offerings include fish and chips sandwiches and platters, shrimp platters (including a Boom Boom shrimp platter), a chicken platter, and even shrimp and bacon cheese fries, among other dinners. Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, as well as its new chicken sandwiches, will also be on the menu at Arthur Treacher.

Nathan’s Famous has “revamped” the Arthur Treacher menu to “highlight” the brand’s traditional offerings, such as fish and chips. (Famous of Nathan)

“Nathan’s Famous and Arthur Treacher’s have a longstanding relationship and we have worked diligently to retain the brand’s traditional menu items while evolving the menu to match Nathan’s product mantra of ‘Craveable, Memorable and Instagrammable “which we believe both operators and customers will love,” said James Walker, senior vice president of restaurants at Nathan’s Famous, in a Press release.

Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips, named after English actor Arthur Treacher (also featured in restaurant marketing campaigns), was founded in 1969 in Ohio, RSQ magazine reported. At its peak, the chain operated on 826 locations. As of 2018, only a handful remained, with the only three “old-fashioned” locations still in operation in northeast Ohio, reported.

A decade later, Mrs. Paul’s – a company best known for its frozen seafood – acquired Arthur Treacher’s and replaced its cod offerings with pollock, sparking a “rebellion” among franchisees, Dayton Daily News reported in 1982. At the time, Mrs. Paul’s president described Arthur Treacher as being on the verge of bankruptcy, according to the article.

Nathan’s Famous then acquired the Arthur Treacher’s brand in 2006 from PAT Franchise Systems, RSQ reported. In the years leading up to the deal, however, Nathan’s Famous had already licensed the Arthur Treacher brand for use in its Nathan’s and Miami Subs outlets.

Nathan’s Famous plans to add codfish back to Arthur Treacher’s menu as appropriate, and even hopes to open Arthur Treacher’s physical locations in the near future, according to Walker.

“We think he absolutely has huge potential for growth,” he told QSR.

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