The A&W Story
Pioneers in the Industry
At A&W, we have a rich history that is actually older than sliced bread. Established in 1919, A&W has been a pioneer in the fast-food industry. It all started when Roy W. Allen opened a roadside root beer stand in Lodi, CA. From there, Allen partnered with Frank Wright, and together they coined the name A&W, which has become synonymous with root beer ever since.
A&W began franchising in 1926, paving the way for a proven franchise system that has expanded internationally. Throughout the years, we have continued to grow while staying true to the elements that made our brand stand out in the first place. After a whole century, A&W root beer remains the most popular in its category among consumers.
Root Beer Originators
“No matter how you drink A&W root beer, you can’t go wrong,” says a ranking from Mashed, listing A&W as the best root beer on the market. “If you go to an A&W Restaurant and drink it out of a frosty mug, you’ll love it. If you have a root beer float for dessert, nothing tastes as great as mixing the ice cream with A&W root beer. This beverage is a big hit in any situation and for practically any crowd.”
Our iconic frosty mugs of A&W root beer are a signature offering that can only be experienced in an A&W restaurant. These frosty mugs became the first-ever restaurant merchandise, and they continue to be a beloved symbol of our brand.
Few others can claim to have stood the test of time the way A&W has: our brand has not only survived economic downturns like the Great Depression and COVID, we’re doing better today than we ever have. A&W comes with a highly experienced support team, a lot of history, and a lot of people who are passionate about the industry itself, as well as our famous root beer, our food, and the communities we serve throughout the country.
Evolving for a Better A&W
As a brand, we recognize the importance of staying ahead of the curve and embracing new technology. We are continuously adopting innovative solutions to enhance the A&W experience. One such example is the implementation of self-service kiosks in our restaurants. With 61% of consumers preferring to use a kiosk to order food at fast-food restaurants, we’re planning to implement them wherever possible. These kiosks provide customers with a convenient ordering option, resulting in a significant increase in sales per ticket everywhere they have been installed. By leveraging technology, we are able to provide a seamless and efficient ordering process that caters to the evolving needs of our customers.
In addition to self-service kiosks, we are also in the process of rolling out a centralized Point of Sale (POS) system, driven by the valuable input from our franchise association. This system offers numerous benefits to our franchisees, including easier transactions and improved sales data. By transitioning to the centralized POS system, franchise owners can streamline their operations and gain valuable insights into their business performance. It also enables the entire company to access comprehensive sales data, empowering us to make informed decisions that drive growth and profitability.
“When we look at changing up restaurant design, when we look at doing packaging redesign, when we look at doing uniforms, anything like that, one of the first places that we turn is to our own history, and we’ve got a ton to look back on — over 100 years worth,” says Liz Bazner, Senior Director of Marketing for A&W. “We really have taken a lot of those elements too: for example, the really clear hand-painted letters from the old cinder block root beer stands. We’ve incorporated that history into a lot of what we do today, because it’s still relevant, and it really resonates with people. And we don’t have to manufacture our own history. This is something real that we can look back on and pull from ourselves.”
Learn More about Franchising with A&W Restaurant
If you are an entrepreneur looking for an exciting opportunity, we invite you to join the A&W franchise team. Fill out our form here, and we’ll send you a copy of our complimentary Franchise Information Report, which provides detailed insights into the benefits and opportunities of franchising with A&W. We are eager to start a conversation with you and explore how A&W can help you achieve your business goals. Together, we can continue to build upon our rich history and create a bright future with A&W.