How the entire executive team supports our franchisees

The best fast food franchise to own is one that fully supports its franchisees. At A&W, you’ll find the best support anywhere.

The exterior of an A&W Restaurant, with an A&W sign and “All American Food” against an orange facade on the front of the building and blue skies with white clouds above.

At A&W Restaurants, our executive team works with franchisees in every sense of the word. We’re not just sitting in our corporate offices in Lexington, KY, with no clue how to run a restaurant. In fact, everyone in the head office works in an A&W restaurant once a quarter, because we never want to forget our true focus: Delivering a great experience for customers and a strong bottom line for franchisees. The insights we gain, plus that fact that our brand is owned by our franchisees, makes us one of the best fast food franchises to own, period.

Everyone on our corporate team earns bonuses based on profitable same-store sales growth, which has averaged almost 33% since 2011. That’s performance tied to bottom-line profitability rather than top-line revenues.

Support you can count on

Linda Mulder is one of our most venerable franchisees. Not only is she the daughter of A&W Chairman Dale Mulder, she also brought the Hand-Breaded Chicken tenders to our menu by market-testing her recipe and then working with A&W to smooth out kitchen processes and develop pricing models.

She and her three siblings are multi-unit owners, with 10 A&W restaurants in Michigan, and also own other fast-food franchise concepts. She says A&W stands out from other fast food franchises in distinct ways.

“The support I can count on from corporate is just great. I just opened a new restaurant, and they were there through the design process. I had beautiful drawings, 3D drawings showing the equipment, how it was placed, and that was a really valuable tool,” Mulder says.

“They were there through the whole process,” she says. “We had weekly calls on how far are you coming, how’s it going, and we had a very hands-on relationship with our field person. The week before we opened, she was there helping. So there was quite a bit of direct hands-on help and frankly, it was very nice to have that even though I’ve been in the business for many years. It was very much appreciated.”

Tom Thompson has owned the A&W in Dubuque, IA, since the mid ’90s. His family still owns several convenience stores, and he was raised working in the grocery stores his parents ran. He loves the opportunity with A&W to grow and is considering adding another location to his portfolio, which he’s confident the community would support.

A frosted A&W mug of rootbeer is pictured with an orange straw. An out-of-focus restaurant interior is the background.

Like Linda Mulder, he’s also impressed by the level of support he receives from corporate. “I think the best thing about being a franchisee in this particular business is probably the uniqueness of the relationship that A&W has with the franchisees, particularly through the franchisee’s association, the National A&W Franchisees Association,” Thompson says. “NAWFA has a contractual responsibility with corporate, getting involved in brand standards, marketing, what have you. As a result, that relationship is unique and I think one of the best reasons that Brand A&W is successful.”

Thompson says A&W’s support goes above and beyond, and that’s something prospective franchise buyers should know.

“I think a franchisee coming into this system can count on genuine support and not just lip service,” he says. “It’s not just in Lexington; we have regional meetings where questions are not just encouraged but they’re needed, and the dialogue that we develop over that helps set the stage for true support. True, genuine ‘I care about your restaurant’ support.”

Learn more

You can discover more about our franchise offering by filling out the form on this page. You can also continue to explore our research pages to learn more about the A&W restaurant franchise opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!


Dave Crowley rejoins A&W Restaurants to head franchise development

Franchising veteran joins A&W leadership ready to assist franchise candidates

A tilted perspective shot of an A&W Restaurant exterior on a sunny day

A&W’s leadership team welcomed an old friend back into our ranks with Dave Crowley, who recently rejoined our brand as Director of Franchise Recruitment.

Franchising veteran Dave Crowley has rejoined A&W Restaurants to head up franchise development efforts. He joins the A&W leadership team as Director of Franchise Recruitment, having recently worked in development roles with such major food franchises as Yum! Brands, Little Caesars and Marco’s Pizza.

In his new role, Crowley, who worked in various development roles for A&W between 1997 and 2010, will recruit new franchisees and assist with site selection.

“A&W’s recent revitalization has dramatically improved same-store-sales profitability,” says President and CEO Kevin Bazner. “Now, we’re ready to accelerate our franchise expansion and welcome more new operators into the A&W family. Dave’s unique understanding of the A&W brand, along with his extensive sales experience, makes him the ideal person for this new position.”

A&W, which was founded in 1919 and celebrates its 100th anniversary next year, has experienced average same-store sales increases of over 33% since being acquired by a group of franchise partners in 2011. Our restaurant franchise has opened 45 units since the acquisition.

“I am excited to return to A&W, a brand I have great memories of from growing up in suburban Detroit,” says Crowley. “I respect and trust in A&W’s leadership, and its franchisee ownership structure gives the brand a unique position in the industry.”

Crowley looks forward to recruiting new franchisees and helping them grow their business. “This is an exciting time to be a part of a brand that’s on the move again,” he says.

Learn more

You can discover more about our franchise offering by filling out the form on this page. You can also continue to explore our research pages to learn more about the A&W restaurant franchise opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!