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How A&W’s Senior Franchise Development Manager Is Creating New Opportunities for Franchise Owners

Michelle Reap is spearheading A&W’s non-traditional franchise program.

By Derek Stephens1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 1:13PM 11/11/22

As A&W Restaurants experiences massive growth and momentum, its support center leadership is building on the brand’s successes and charting new courses for franchise expansion. Senior Franchise Development Manager Michelle Reap joined the company in January 2022 and is already creating significant change within the organization, leveraging decades of experience in the restaurant segment.

“I’ve been in the restaurant industry since 2002, mostly developing non-traditional departments,” said Reap. “Last year, I was looking for a remote role when a friend told me about this position at A&W. I applied, and the rest is history. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the A&W family and grow the brand — one franchise owner at a time.”

Reap is responsible for handling all leads that enter the A&W system and providing initial contact to prospective franchise owners. She then guides candidates through the due diligence process all the way to signing a franchise agreement.

“I enjoy the family culture at A&W, and in my role, I get to extend that culture to new franchise owners,” said Reap. “This company is owned by franchisees, so it feels like we’re all on the same page. I love that I get to share that positivity and closeness with entrepreneurs from the outset of their experience with A&W. Candidates can sense what we’re about, and that makes my job a lot easier.”

Moving forward, Reap aims to add more franchise partners to the A&W network and kickstart its non-traditional program. As the leader of the non-traditional program, her focus is to expand the brand to airports, college universities, stadiums, military bases and more. 

“We’re really excited about this new direction and opportunity to bring in new franchise partners in an entirely different category than we’ve had in the past,” said Reap. “The non-traditional program will open many doors for the brand as it continues to expand.”

Since 2011, A&W has seen a 67% in same-store sales growth, suggesting now is an excellent time to join the A&W family. The brand seeks qualified franchise owners for development in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. 

The total investment necessary to begin operation, not including rent or land costs, is $871,000 to $1,454,750 for a Freestanding Restaurant; $401,000 to $1,013,750 for an Inline Restaurant; and $276,000 to $704,000 for a Captive Restaurant, including a $15,000-$30,000 franchise fee. To learn more about franchise opportunities with A&W Restaurants, please visit