After a century of ups down and everything in between, the iconic American brand is ringing in 100 with a focus on expansion.
At its peak in the mid-1960s, A&W has 2,400 restaurants. As of December 31, there were 49 freestanding locations and 59 convenience-gas station hybrid locations in its system. For the brand’s 100th birthday, QSR Magazine did a deep dive of A&W’s emergence, flatline and resurgence—and what’s ahead.
After pressing pause on development after 2017—a move eight years in the making, the article notes—the iconic American brand is planning resume growth. Other strategic changes being implemented in Year 100 include a system-wide restaurant revamp that is focused on single-brand outlets instead of co-branded units with KFC and Long John Silvers. Also of note, A&W is further revisiting its roots by picking up the old practice of making its signature root beer in-house once more.
According to the article, CEO Kevin Bazner said the company is getting back to single-brand outlets on purpose due to their positive effect on branding and better sales numbers. Expansion plans for the brand this year have 17 restaurants about to open or in various stages of development and two new franchise deals in Nevada, as well.
Read the full story here.
Image Source: A&W Restaurants