- A&W Restaurants
A&W Restaurants, Inc. Type Wholly owned subsidiary Industry Fast Food Founded 1919 Headquarters Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Products Hot dogs, root beer, cheese curds, hamburgers, chicken Parent A Great American Brand LLC Website awrestaurants.com
A&W Restaurants, Inc., is a chain of fast-food restaurants, distinguished by its draft root beer and root beer floats. A&W was arguably the first successful food franchise company, starting franchises in 1921 in California. Today it has franchise locations throughout the world, serving a typical fast food menu of hamburgers and french fries, as well as hot dogs. A number of its outlets are drive-in restaurants with carhops. The company name was taken from the last name initials of partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright. The chain is currently being sold to A Great American Brand LLC.
The company became famous in the United States for its "frosty mugs", where the mug would be kept in the freezer prior to being filled with root beer and served to the customer.
A&W began in June 1919 at 13 Pine Street in Lodi, California, when Frank Wright partnered with Roy Allen to help Wright with the root beer business he started that year. They branded their product A&W Root Beer after their surnames. In 1921, Allen began franchising the drink, arguably the first successful food-franchising operation. His profits came from a small franchise fee and sales.
By 1960, A&W had 2000 stores. In 1971, a beverage division began, supplying bottled A&W products to grocery stores. The soft drinks sold under A&W are root beer and cream soda made by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. In the 1970s, A&W had more stores than McDonald's. Oshkosh, Wisconsin franchise manager Jim Brajdic said: "Problems back then, including a lawsuit, franchisee discontent and inconsistencies in the operation, caused the chain to flounder and branches to close."
In 1989, A&W made an agreement with Minnesota-based Carousel Snack Bars to convert that chain's 200 stores (mostly kiosks in shopping malls) to A&W Hot Dogs & More. Some A&W Hot Dogs & More are still operating. In late 2000s, A&W added franchises with a nostalgic look and modern technology. They have a carhop design with drive-thrus and some have picnic tables.
Before 2011, A&W (besides Canada), was a Yum! Brands, Inc. company. Most A&W stores that opened in the U.S. in recent years were co-branded with another of Yum!'s chains—Long John Silver's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, or Kentucky Fried Chicken.
On January 18, 2011 Yum! Brands announced its intention to sell A&W along with Long John Silver's. Citing poor sales for both divisions, Yum! planned to focus on international expansion for its remaining brands, with particular emphasis on growth in China.. In September 2011, Yum! announced that they would sell the chain to A Great American Brand LLC.
- ^ . http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-yum-sells-long-john-silvers-aw-chains-20110922,0,7915811.story.
- ^ a b c d e Wallenfang, Maureen (2008-09-24). "A&W chain banks on state for its rebirth". Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent. pp. A-10.
- ^ "A&W Root Beer - History & Collectables". http://www.awrootbeer.com/hist_hist3.htm.
- ^ "A&W prexy sets pace for growth in the '90s - A&W Restaurants author=George Michel". http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n17_v25/ai_10659563.
- ^ Yum! Brands Places Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Restaurants for Sale - Jan. 18, 2011
- Company site
- A&W Canada
- A&W Malaysia
- A&W Thailand
- A&W Okinawa
- A&W Root Beer - History & Collectables
- BusinessWorld Philippines: Philippine brands set foot on foreign shores by Jemileen U. Nuqui and Veronica C. Silva, November 25, 2003
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.