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A&W Restaurants Nears 1000 Locations, Looks to Build on Momentum in 2022

After a year that was full of growth domestically and abroad, the classic American restaurant franchise is expanding with new and existing franchisees and targeting several new markets.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 03/21/22

A&W Restaurants, the classic American restaurant franchise, has experienced tremendous growth with new and existing franchisees in the last year and a half. The brand now has 527 domestic U.S. locations and 400 international locations. There are a total of 160 franchise owners in the U.S. and six international franchisees operating A&W units. In addition to its new units, A&W also had eight franchisees expand to bring the classic restaurant franchise to local communities.

“We’re making an impact in the communities where we’re growing,” said Kevin Bazner, CEO of A&W Restaurants. “Since 2011, we’ve seen 50% same-store sales growth, and people who are looking at the restaurant industry are taking notice. There’s opportunity here.”

A&W has set a goal of awarding 25 units to franchisees in 2022 and opening 12 locations, and believes that the best is yet to come for the more than 100-year-old brand.

“It’s a very exciting time to be involved with A&W,” said John Palumbo, senior franchise director of the Lexington, Kentucky-based brand. “Our best years are ahead of us, and that's due largely to the franchisee-owned model. People choose a franchise to be in business for themselves, not by themselves." 

A&W is excited about the upcoming year and is looking to target both new and existing markets. Target markets for the coming year include the Midwest like Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, but also , North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. 


Established in 1919 in Lodi, California as a roadside stand, A&W Restaurants now stands as a thriving part of the American experience. With 500-plus locations across the country, including 300 standalone restaurants, the brand remains a one-of-a-kind true original. Even its signature A&W Root Beer, served in an iconic frosty mug, is handcrafted at the restaurant. Today, that traditional approach is resonating strongly with consumers, who are looking for authentic brands. For more information, visit