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CNBC: A&W Restaurants CEO on What’s Driving Americans to Fast-Casual Dining in Bigger Numbers

Kevin Bazner discusses how the 102-year-old brand was able to pivot during the pandemic and see a sales increase across the country as a result.

In an interview with CNBC, A&W CEO Kevin Bazner discussed how the brand adapted when the pandemic hit by focusing on off-premise services such as drive-thru and curbside delivery. Bazner explained how A&W was able to convert its legacy restaurants’ drive-in stalls into pickup locations, which allowed the brand to see an increase in sales less than two months into the pandemic. In addition, A&W expanded delivery services. As a result, the brand saw its ninth year of growth with a 9.7% average sales increase across standalone models in 2020.

A&W also provided franchisees with exceptional support throughout the pandemic. It not only suspended franchising and advertising fees, but corporate also helped franchisees navigate the PPP process. A&W has 500-plus units, including 300 standalone restaurants.

View the full segment here.