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YAHOO!: A&W Restaurants Celebrate 10 Years Under Franchisee Ownership

The future of America's oldest restaurant franchise was in question 10 years ago. Now, it’s stronger than ever.

By Leah Holloway1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 11:11AM 03/01/22

10 years ago, with sales sliding, the system losing units and growing discontent from franchisees, the future of A&W, America's oldest restaurant franchise, was in question. Fast forward to 2022, and the picture looks much different for the iconic burger brand. 

In an interview with Yahoo!, Kevin Bazner, the brand’s CEO, reported that same-store sales have increased every year over the past decade, reversing seven years of declines. Sales this year are up 10.2%, following last year's 9.2% growth. Average unit sales are up almost 50 percent, and nearly 70 new restaurants have opened with more than 20 locations in development. Much of that growth, Bazner says, can be attributed to the brand’s franchisee-ownership model.

"Being under franchisee ownership allowed us to control our destiny, which was thrilling and scary at the same time,” Bazner said. “We felt that our chain was being forced into co-branding with other concepts, which in many instances was not the right fit. We were a tiny part of a very large company, and we felt lost.”

A&W is still the only major restaurant brand 100% owned by its franchisees, and today, it’s one of the industry’s biggest success stories. 

Read the full article here.