• A&W Restaurants

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Executive Q&A: Kevin Bazner, A&W Restaurants

 

1851 Franchise: Let’s start off with 2020. Some great things happened for A&W. Tell us what your team accomplished while weathering the craziest time in franchise history that makes you proud. 

Kevin Bazner: In the middle of March [2020] when COVID hit the fan, so to speak, we made a commitment to get all of our team members and all of our franchise partners to the other side of this pandemic. That commitment did result in successfully getting the majority of our stores to the other side. We lost a handful of restaurants in mall locations, [but] we kept everyone on the payroll, assuming that the pandemic would pass. Fortunately, by the end of April of last year, we saw business coming back. So it was the right choice. We kept the team intact, sales turned around very quickly after about five or six weeks and now we continue to benefit from that.

1851: What choices did you make to support franchisees?

Bazner: We went for a period of 90 days when we either deferred or canceled royalty and advertising payments, knowing that in the crisis, cash would be king. We said, ‘Hold on to your cash. Don't send us royalties. Don't send us ad fund money. We'll figure it out afterward.’ We actually sent money back wherever an operator had on balance in their store advertising account. That was our commitment to help everybody get to the other side.

1851: Is it easier to understand what to do in a crisis like that because A&W is a franchisee-owned company? What does that actually mean?

Bazner: In December of 2011, our U.S. franchise association got together with our largest international franchisee and acquired the business from Yum! brands. With that as a backdrop, every decision we make is filtered through our franchise association. That franchise association also has seats on the main board of the company in which strategic and policy decisions are made. So when we call our franchise partners ‘partners,’ they truly are. It's truly a collaborative environment. Last year, when we were talking with our franchise associates, we were talking with our shareholders. Everybody was on the same page because we were all in the same boat.  

1851: Does having franchisees in the discussion during a crisis give you an advantage that a lot of brands don't have?

Bazner: Without question it does. It didn't just start with a pandemic. That was our M.O. coming into the pandemic, so it was a natural thing. We increased the frequency of those conversations — we increased the frequency of them from weekly and quarterly to literally daily during the height of the pandemic. I do think it was — and continues to be — our competitive advantage because all of our stakeholders’ interests are exactly aligned.

1851: You've had two stints here in A&W leadership. You started as managing director, rising to President and COO. You left after Yum! bought the brand. You came back in 2011. Does that give you a unique approach as CEO?

Bazner: Yes, it’s interesting. When the brand was sold to Yum! Brands, I had been around for about 18 years. The majority of that time was focused on our international business. So during my almost 10-year absence, I went off and did some other things. But through that first 18 years, I established a lot of relationships and a lot of friendships within the brand. When Yum! was selling the business, I got two phone calls — one from the president of our franchise association and one from our largest franchise partner — to ask me if I would help them buy the business. It was natural for me. My heart was still with the brand. My only request was that because Yum! was selling the business as two entities, domestic and international, we bought both sides of the business, which we were successful doing.

1851: Why did you come back to the brand?

Bazner: I really saw an opportunity to get this brand as a standalone brand again. I had the knowledge of the existing franchise community and given the opportunity for A&W to become an independent brand again, I felt very comfortable that we could get the brand back on the right track very, very quickly. Now, we're in our 10th year of same-store sales increases. 10 years in a row. That was not by accident. When I came in as a CEO, we set one goal: to focus on profitable same-store sales growth — with an emphasis on profitability. We don't have a $1 menu. We're not heavily discounting. Quality became our long-term value proposition, and now in our 10th year, it's paying dividends. We're seeing double-digit comps now for the last 12 months coming out of COVID-19, and it’s getting stronger. 

1851: You have all the pieces anyone should be thinking about with multi-unit ownership or diversifying their brand portfolio: strong leadership, brand recognition, unit economics, territory to grow. Is A&W the best-kept business secret in franchising?

Bazner: We haven't told our story, or at least it hasn't been heard. For the first four or five years, after I returned to the company, we weren't even focused on new development. We were focused on improving the unit economics of the business. To be honest, in the first five, six, seven years, our economics were improving, but we weren't quite yet where we needed to be to tell an interesting and exciting story for a new franchise partner. Today, we have a very, very competitive story in terms of unit economics. 

1851: Are you being more critical of who gets let in as a franchise partner?

Bazner: One of our goals is to be more diverse, to attract a larger variety of people. But we want people interested in the brand and the integrity of the brand, not someone just looking for an investment. We really want quality versus quantity when it comes to franchisees. We've got a very good thing here, and it's getting better. We do want to protect that for the long term.

 

ABOUT A&W RESTAURANTS: 

Established in 1919 in Lodi, CA 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 https://franchising.awrestaurants.com/

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    A&W Restaurants

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    500+

  • start-up costs

    $269,000-$1,200,000

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $30,000

  • Liquidity:

    $150,000

  • Net Worth:

    $350,000

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • A&W Restaurants

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Executive Q&A: Kevin Bazner, A&W Restaurants

 

1851 Franchise: Let’s start off with 2020. Some great things happened for A&W. Tell us what your team accomplished while weathering the craziest time in franchise history that makes you proud. 

Kevin Bazner: In the middle of March [2020] when COVID hit the fan, so to speak, we made a commitment to get all of our team members and all of our franchise partners to the other side of this pandemic. That commitment did result in successfully getting the majority of our stores to the other side. We lost a handful of restaurants in mall locations, [but] we kept everyone on the payroll, assuming that the pandemic would pass. Fortunately, by the end of April of last year, we saw business coming back. So it was the right choice. We kept the team intact, sales turned around very quickly after about five or six weeks and now we continue to benefit from that.

1851: What choices did you make to support franchisees?

Bazner: We went for a period of 90 days when we either deferred or canceled royalty and advertising payments, knowing that in the crisis, cash would be king. We said, ‘Hold on to your cash. Don't send us royalties. Don't send us ad fund money. We'll figure it out afterward.’ We actually sent money back wherever an operator had on balance in their store advertising account. That was our commitment to help everybody get to the other side.

1851: Is it easier to understand what to do in a crisis like that because A&W is a franchisee-owned company? What does that actually mean?

Bazner: In December of 2011, our U.S. franchise association got together with our largest international franchisee and acquired the business from Yum! brands. With that as a backdrop, every decision we make is filtered through our franchise association. That franchise association also has seats on the main board of the company in which strategic and policy decisions are made. So when we call our franchise partners ‘partners,’ they truly are. It's truly a collaborative environment. Last year, when we were talking with our franchise associates, we were talking with our shareholders. Everybody was on the same page because we were all in the same boat.  

1851: Does having franchisees in the discussion during a crisis give you an advantage that a lot of brands don't have?

Bazner: Without question it does. It didn't just start with a pandemic. That was our M.O. coming into the pandemic, so it was a natural thing. We increased the frequency of those conversations — we increased the frequency of them from weekly and quarterly to literally daily during the height of the pandemic. I do think it was — and continues to be — our competitive advantage because all of our stakeholders’ interests are exactly aligned.

1851: You've had two stints here in A&W leadership. You started as managing director, rising to President and COO. You left after Yum! bought the brand. You came back in 2011. Does that give you a unique approach as CEO?

Bazner: Yes, it’s interesting. When the brand was sold to Yum! Brands, I had been around for about 18 years. The majority of that time was focused on our international business. So during my almost 10-year absence, I went off and did some other things. But through that first 18 years, I established a lot of relationships and a lot of friendships within the brand. When Yum! was selling the business, I got two phone calls — one from the president of our franchise association and one from our largest franchise partner — to ask me if I would help them buy the business. It was natural for me. My heart was still with the brand. My only request was that because Yum! was selling the business as two entities, domestic and international, we bought both sides of the business, which we were successful doing.

1851: Why did you come back to the brand?

Bazner: I really saw an opportunity to get this brand as a standalone brand again. I had the knowledge of the existing franchise community and given the opportunity for A&W to become an independent brand again, I felt very comfortable that we could get the brand back on the right track very, very quickly. Now, we're in our 10th year of same-store sales increases. 10 years in a row. That was not by accident. When I came in as a CEO, we set one goal: to focus on profitable same-store sales growth — with an emphasis on profitability. We don't have a $1 menu. We're not heavily discounting. Quality became our long-term value proposition, and now in our 10th year, it's paying dividends. We're seeing double-digit comps now for the last 12 months coming out of COVID-19, and it’s getting stronger. 

1851: You have all the pieces anyone should be thinking about with multi-unit ownership or diversifying their brand portfolio: strong leadership, brand recognition, unit economics, territory to grow. Is A&W the best-kept business secret in franchising?

Bazner: We haven't told our story, or at least it hasn't been heard. For the first four or five years, after I returned to the company, we weren't even focused on new development. We were focused on improving the unit economics of the business. To be honest, in the first five, six, seven years, our economics were improving, but we weren't quite yet where we needed to be to tell an interesting and exciting story for a new franchise partner. Today, we have a very, very competitive story in terms of unit economics. 

1851: Are you being more critical of who gets let in as a franchise partner?

Bazner: One of our goals is to be more diverse, to attract a larger variety of people. But we want people interested in the brand and the integrity of the brand, not someone just looking for an investment. We really want quality versus quantity when it comes to franchisees. We've got a very good thing here, and it's getting better. We do want to protect that for the long term.

 

ABOUT A&W RESTAURANTS: 

Established in 1919 in Lodi, CA 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 https://franchising.awrestaurants.com/

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    A&W Restaurants

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    500+

  • start-up costs

    $269,000-$1,200,000

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $30,000

  • Liquidity:

    $150,000

  • Net Worth:

    $350,000

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • A&W Restaurants

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Executive Q&A: Kevin Bazner, A&W Restaurants

 

1851 Franchise: Let’s start off with 2020. Some great things happened for A&W. Tell us what your team accomplished while weathering the craziest time in franchise history that makes you proud. 

Kevin Bazner: In the middle of March [2020] when COVID hit the fan, so to speak, we made a commitment to get all of our team members and all of our franchise partners to the other side of this pandemic. That commitment did result in successfully getting the majority of our stores to the other side. We lost a handful of restaurants in mall locations, [but] we kept everyone on the payroll, assuming that the pandemic would pass. Fortunately, by the end of April of last year, we saw business coming back. So it was the right choice. We kept the team intact, sales turned around very quickly after about five or six weeks and now we continue to benefit from that.

1851: What choices did you make to support franchisees?

Bazner: We went for a period of 90 days when we either deferred or canceled royalty and advertising payments, knowing that in the crisis, cash would be king. We said, ‘Hold on to your cash. Don't send us royalties. Don't send us ad fund money. We'll figure it out afterward.’ We actually sent money back wherever an operator had on balance in their store advertising account. That was our commitment to help everybody get to the other side.

1851: Is it easier to understand what to do in a crisis like that because A&W is a franchisee-owned company? What does that actually mean?

Bazner: In December of 2011, our U.S. franchise association got together with our largest international franchisee and acquired the business from Yum! brands. With that as a backdrop, every decision we make is filtered through our franchise association. That franchise association also has seats on the main board of the company in which strategic and policy decisions are made. So when we call our franchise partners ‘partners,’ they truly are. It's truly a collaborative environment. Last year, when we were talking with our franchise associates, we were talking with our shareholders. Everybody was on the same page because we were all in the same boat.  

1851: Does having franchisees in the discussion during a crisis give you an advantage that a lot of brands don't have?

Bazner: Without question it does. It didn't just start with a pandemic. That was our M.O. coming into the pandemic, so it was a natural thing. We increased the frequency of those conversations — we increased the frequency of them from weekly and quarterly to literally daily during the height of the pandemic. I do think it was — and continues to be — our competitive advantage because all of our stakeholders’ interests are exactly aligned.

1851: You've had two stints here in A&W leadership. You started as managing director, rising to President and COO. You left after Yum! bought the brand. You came back in 2011. Does that give you a unique approach as CEO?

Bazner: Yes, it’s interesting. When the brand was sold to Yum! Brands, I had been around for about 18 years. The majority of that time was focused on our international business. So during my almost 10-year absence, I went off and did some other things. But through that first 18 years, I established a lot of relationships and a lot of friendships within the brand. When Yum! was selling the business, I got two phone calls — one from the president of our franchise association and one from our largest franchise partner — to ask me if I would help them buy the business. It was natural for me. My heart was still with the brand. My only request was that because Yum! was selling the business as two entities, domestic and international, we bought both sides of the business, which we were successful doing.

1851: Why did you come back to the brand?

Bazner: I really saw an opportunity to get this brand as a standalone brand again. I had the knowledge of the existing franchise community and given the opportunity for A&W to become an independent brand again, I felt very comfortable that we could get the brand back on the right track very, very quickly. Now, we're in our 10th year of same-store sales increases. 10 years in a row. That was not by accident. When I came in as a CEO, we set one goal: to focus on profitable same-store sales growth — with an emphasis on profitability. We don't have a $1 menu. We're not heavily discounting. Quality became our long-term value proposition, and now in our 10th year, it's paying dividends. We're seeing double-digit comps now for the last 12 months coming out of COVID-19, and it’s getting stronger. 

1851: You have all the pieces anyone should be thinking about with multi-unit ownership or diversifying their brand portfolio: strong leadership, brand recognition, unit economics, territory to grow. Is A&W the best-kept business secret in franchising?

Bazner: We haven't told our story, or at least it hasn't been heard. For the first four or five years, after I returned to the company, we weren't even focused on new development. We were focused on improving the unit economics of the business. To be honest, in the first five, six, seven years, our economics were improving, but we weren't quite yet where we needed to be to tell an interesting and exciting story for a new franchise partner. Today, we have a very, very competitive story in terms of unit economics. 

1851: Are you being more critical of who gets let in as a franchise partner?

Bazner: One of our goals is to be more diverse, to attract a larger variety of people. But we want people interested in the brand and the integrity of the brand, not someone just looking for an investment. We really want quality versus quantity when it comes to franchisees. We've got a very good thing here, and it's getting better. We do want to protect that for the long term.

 

ABOUT A&W RESTAURANTS: 

Established in 1919 in Lodi, CA 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 https://franchising.awrestaurants.com/

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    A&W Restaurants

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    500+

  • start-up costs

    $269,000-$1,200,000

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $30,000

  • Liquidity:

    $150,000

  • Net Worth:

    $350,000

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • A&W Restaurants

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Executive Q&A: Kevin Bazner, A&W Restaurants

 

1851 Franchise: Let’s start off with 2020. Some great things happened for A&W. Tell us what your team accomplished while weathering the craziest time in franchise history that makes you proud. 

Kevin Bazner: In the middle of March [2020] when COVID hit the fan, so to speak, we made a commitment to get all of our team members and all of our franchise partners to the other side of this pandemic. That commitment did result in successfully getting the majority of our stores to the other side. We lost a handful of restaurants in mall locations, [but] we kept everyone on the payroll, assuming that the pandemic would pass. Fortunately, by the end of April of last year, we saw business coming back. So it was the right choice. We kept the team intact, sales turned around very quickly after about five or six weeks and now we continue to benefit from that.

1851: What choices did you make to support franchisees?

Bazner: We went for a period of 90 days when we either deferred or canceled royalty and advertising payments, knowing that in the crisis, cash would be king. We said, ‘Hold on to your cash. Don't send us royalties. Don't send us ad fund money. We'll figure it out afterward.’ We actually sent money back wherever an operator had on balance in their store advertising account. That was our commitment to help everybody get to the other side.

1851: Is it easier to understand what to do in a crisis like that because A&W is a franchisee-owned company? What does that actually mean?

Bazner: In December of 2011, our U.S. franchise association got together with our largest international franchisee and acquired the business from Yum! brands. With that as a backdrop, every decision we make is filtered through our franchise association. That franchise association also has seats on the main board of the company in which strategic and policy decisions are made. So when we call our franchise partners ‘partners,’ they truly are. It's truly a collaborative environment. Last year, when we were talking with our franchise associates, we were talking with our shareholders. Everybody was on the same page because we were all in the same boat.  

1851: Does having franchisees in the discussion during a crisis give you an advantage that a lot of brands don't have?

Bazner: Without question it does. It didn't just start with a pandemic. That was our M.O. coming into the pandemic, so it was a natural thing. We increased the frequency of those conversations — we increased the frequency of them from weekly and quarterly to literally daily during the height of the pandemic. I do think it was — and continues to be — our competitive advantage because all of our stakeholders’ interests are exactly aligned.

1851: You've had two stints here in A&W leadership. You started as managing director, rising to President and COO. You left after Yum! bought the brand. You came back in 2011. Does that give you a unique approach as CEO?

Bazner: Yes, it’s interesting. When the brand was sold to Yum! Brands, I had been around for about 18 years. The majority of that time was focused on our international business. So during my almost 10-year absence, I went off and did some other things. But through that first 18 years, I established a lot of relationships and a lot of friendships within the brand. When Yum! was selling the business, I got two phone calls — one from the president of our franchise association and one from our largest franchise partner — to ask me if I would help them buy the business. It was natural for me. My heart was still with the brand. My only request was that because Yum! was selling the business as two entities, domestic and international, we bought both sides of the business, which we were successful doing.

1851: Why did you come back to the brand?

Bazner: I really saw an opportunity to get this brand as a standalone brand again. I had the knowledge of the existing franchise community and given the opportunity for A&W to become an independent brand again, I felt very comfortable that we could get the brand back on the right track very, very quickly. Now, we're in our 10th year of same-store sales increases. 10 years in a row. That was not by accident. When I came in as a CEO, we set one goal: to focus on profitable same-store sales growth — with an emphasis on profitability. We don't have a $1 menu. We're not heavily discounting. Quality became our long-term value proposition, and now in our 10th year, it's paying dividends. We're seeing double-digit comps now for the last 12 months coming out of COVID-19, and it’s getting stronger. 

1851: You have all the pieces anyone should be thinking about with multi-unit ownership or diversifying their brand portfolio: strong leadership, brand recognition, unit economics, territory to grow. Is A&W the best-kept business secret in franchising?

Bazner: We haven't told our story, or at least it hasn't been heard. For the first four or five years, after I returned to the company, we weren't even focused on new development. We were focused on improving the unit economics of the business. To be honest, in the first five, six, seven years, our economics were improving, but we weren't quite yet where we needed to be to tell an interesting and exciting story for a new franchise partner. Today, we have a very, very competitive story in terms of unit economics. 

1851: Are you being more critical of who gets let in as a franchise partner?

Bazner: One of our goals is to be more diverse, to attract a larger variety of people. But we want people interested in the brand and the integrity of the brand, not someone just looking for an investment. We really want quality versus quantity when it comes to franchisees. We've got a very good thing here, and it's getting better. We do want to protect that for the long term.

 

ABOUT A&W RESTAURANTS: 

Established in 1919 in Lodi, CA 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 https://franchising.awrestaurants.com/

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    A&W Restaurants

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    500+

  • start-up costs

    $269,000-$1,200,000

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $30,000

  • Liquidity:

    $150,000

  • Net Worth:

    $350,000

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • A&W Restaurants

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Executive Q&A: Kevin Bazner, A&W Restaurants

 

1851 Franchise: Let’s start off with 2020. Some great things happened for A&W. Tell us what your team accomplished while weathering the craziest time in franchise history that makes you proud. 

Kevin Bazner: In the middle of March [2020] when COVID hit the fan, so to speak, we made a commitment to get all of our team members and all of our franchise partners to the other side of this pandemic. That commitment did result in successfully getting the majority of our stores to the other side. We lost a handful of restaurants in mall locations, [but] we kept everyone on the payroll, assuming that the pandemic would pass. Fortunately, by the end of April of last year, we saw business coming back. So it was the right choice. We kept the team intact, sales turned around very quickly after about five or six weeks and now we continue to benefit from that.

1851: What choices did you make to support franchisees?

Bazner: We went for a period of 90 days when we either deferred or canceled royalty and advertising payments, knowing that in the crisis, cash would be king. We said, ‘Hold on to your cash. Don't send us royalties. Don't send us ad fund money. We'll figure it out afterward.’ We actually sent money back wherever an operator had on balance in their store advertising account. That was our commitment to help everybody get to the other side.

1851: Is it easier to understand what to do in a crisis like that because A&W is a franchisee-owned company? What does that actually mean?

Bazner: In December of 2011, our U.S. franchise association got together with our largest international franchisee and acquired the business from Yum! brands. With that as a backdrop, every decision we make is filtered through our franchise association. That franchise association also has seats on the main board of the company in which strategic and policy decisions are made. So when we call our franchise partners ‘partners,’ they truly are. It's truly a collaborative environment. Last year, when we were talking with our franchise associates, we were talking with our shareholders. Everybody was on the same page because we were all in the same boat.  

1851: Does having franchisees in the discussion during a crisis give you an advantage that a lot of brands don't have?

Bazner: Without question it does. It didn't just start with a pandemic. That was our M.O. coming into the pandemic, so it was a natural thing. We increased the frequency of those conversations — we increased the frequency of them from weekly and quarterly to literally daily during the height of the pandemic. I do think it was — and continues to be — our competitive advantage because all of our stakeholders’ interests are exactly aligned.

1851: You've had two stints here in A&W leadership. You started as managing director, rising to President and COO. You left after Yum! bought the brand. You came back in 2011. Does that give you a unique approach as CEO?

Bazner: Yes, it’s interesting. When the brand was sold to Yum! Brands, I had been around for about 18 years. The majority of that time was focused on our international business. So during my almost 10-year absence, I went off and did some other things. But through that first 18 years, I established a lot of relationships and a lot of friendships within the brand. When Yum! was selling the business, I got two phone calls — one from the president of our franchise association and one from our largest franchise partner — to ask me if I would help them buy the business. It was natural for me. My heart was still with the brand. My only request was that because Yum! was selling the business as two entities, domestic and international, we bought both sides of the business, which we were successful doing.

1851: Why did you come back to the brand?

Bazner: I really saw an opportunity to get this brand as a standalone brand again. I had the knowledge of the existing franchise community and given the opportunity for A&W to become an independent brand again, I felt very comfortable that we could get the brand back on the right track very, very quickly. Now, we're in our 10th year of same-store sales increases. 10 years in a row. That was not by accident. When I came in as a CEO, we set one goal: to focus on profitable same-store sales growth — with an emphasis on profitability. We don't have a $1 menu. We're not heavily discounting. Quality became our long-term value proposition, and now in our 10th year, it's paying dividends. We're seeing double-digit comps now for the last 12 months coming out of COVID-19, and it’s getting stronger. 

1851: You have all the pieces anyone should be thinking about with multi-unit ownership or diversifying their brand portfolio: strong leadership, brand recognition, unit economics, territory to grow. Is A&W the best-kept business secret in franchising?

Bazner: We haven't told our story, or at least it hasn't been heard. For the first four or five years, after I returned to the company, we weren't even focused on new development. We were focused on improving the unit economics of the business. To be honest, in the first five, six, seven years, our economics were improving, but we weren't quite yet where we needed to be to tell an interesting and exciting story for a new franchise partner. Today, we have a very, very competitive story in terms of unit economics. 

1851: Are you being more critical of who gets let in as a franchise partner?

Bazner: One of our goals is to be more diverse, to attract a larger variety of people. But we want people interested in the brand and the integrity of the brand, not someone just looking for an investment. We really want quality versus quantity when it comes to franchisees. We've got a very good thing here, and it's getting better. We do want to protect that for the long term.

 

ABOUT A&W RESTAURANTS: 

Established in 1919 in Lodi, CA 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 https://franchising.awrestaurants.com/

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    A&W Restaurants

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    500+

  • start-up costs

    $269,000-$1,200,000

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $30,000

  • Liquidity:

    $150,000

  • Net Worth:

    $350,000

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES