How A&W Restaurants appeals to multi-unit investors

Our franchisee-owned, operations-focused restaurant franchise has a century of experience and years of upward sales trends

The exterior of an A&W Restaurant

A&W Restaurants, in business for nearly a century, is an ever-more attractive franchise opportunity as sales continue to increase.

A&W Restaurants has more than 625 locations across the U.S., and nearly a century in business. As a franchise brand that is truly owned by franchisees – they bought the brand in 2011 – every decision we make is determined by the people who are actually operating the restaurants.

It’s a strategy that has paid off. We’re a resurgent brand with a great growth strategy, and we’re looking for experienced operators to help us grow. See why more and more people are excited about our multi-unit investment opportunity.

Operations-based culture

One of the biggest complaints multi-unit operators have is that the people making the decisions don’t know their way around the kitchen. That’s just not the case at A&W. President and CEO Kevin Bazner started in the restaurant industry by washing dishes at the age of 14. Chairman Dale Mulder has been in the business for nearly 60 years as an operator. You’ll find similar stories among almost everyone on the A&W leadership team.

“A lot of the positive feedback we get, both from prospective franchisees and from existing operators, is around how we’re getting operational input and how we are operators ourselves,” Bazner says. “Everything we do gets funneled through that common sense operations filter.”

We pride ourselves on our operations-based culture. Franchisees assumed ownership in 2011. Since then, every move we make is based on the collective decisions of our franchisees, and as a result we’ve experienced same-store sales increases, on average, of 33%.

Transparency

Buying a franchise in 2018 is not like buying a franchise in 1998, or even 2008. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips, much of the discovery process is in the hands of the investor. Savvy franchise buyers do as much research as possible on their own before engaging in conversations with brand representatives.

That’s why we owe it to you to be as transparent as possible so you can make the most informed decision. We’re proud of our franchise and our performance.

And this year, we’ve added an Item 19 Financial Performance Representation to our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). We want to share with qualified candidates up front what we know about our revenue picture from the most recent 12-month period. While we can’t predict or guarantee financial performance, we can provide you with as much data as possible so you can thoroughly vet our brand and make an informed decision before you invest. Prospective candidates will receive a copy of our FDD as soon as we’ve determined that they’re qualified to own an A&W franchise.

And what does it take to qualify, you might ask? We look for candidates with a minimum liquidity of $150,000 and a net worth of at least $350,000.

The total startup investment ranges from $266,500 to $1.2 million. You can see a line-item breakdown of startup costs here.

Ease of scalability

A woman and man on either side of an A&W bear statue pose with their four boys in front of the statue. The boys and father are wearing orange A&W-branded T-shirts. Branded merchandise can be seen in the background.

Julie and Jeremy Glenz and their children love running their two Minnesota A&W Restaurants, and they’re already on the lookout for the opportunity to open more.

Julie Glenz, who owns two units in Albany and Richmond, MN, with husband Jeremy, knows a good opportunity when she sees it.

“A&W is so prompt at getting us what we need when we need it. When we opened our second store, they sent people to our store to help train all the new employees we hired,” Glenz says. “They stayed for a couple of weeks to get everybody familiar with everything. When you’re opening a new business, you have so many things to get figured out. Just having them there to help was great. “

With that kind of support and a lot of unclaimed territory available, she’s game for more growth in the future.

“There’s been talk about adding more,” she says. “If the right spot comes up, we’ll definitely consider it.”

Learn more about A&W Restaurants

If you’d like to know more about the multi-unit franchise opportunity with A&W Restaurants, please fill out the short, no-obligation form on this page to start a conversation. You can also learn more about our brand by exploring our research pages.