Why A&W?

An Iconic Brand

We are THE All-American franchise. Everyone has an A&W memory: first dates, high school sweethearts, or just that perfect burger. We’re a classic, American brand approaching our 100-year mark, yet we continue to grow and change with the times. The A&W brand speaks to both younger and older generations through our “hip nostalgia” positioning. In 2011 A&W Restaurants, Inc. was purchased by a group of domestic and international Franchise Partners in order to protect & grow the brand, and we’re committed to its success for the next 100 years.


One of the things that sets us apart from our competition is our ability to provide hands-on support to our Franchise Partners. We have a knowledgeable and talented team that can help you evaluate and achieve your goals, keeping the main goal of profitable sales front and center. We provide continued support along the way, with a focus on innovative strategies, Local Store Marketing, Operations and much more.


At A&W, we realize that everyone’s business is different. What works for one restaurant may not work for another. Differences in asset types, trade areas, competition and individual communities contribute to the uniqueness of each operator and restaurant’s needs. Our Franchise Partners are encouraged to take ownership and control of their business, which is essential to building a successful business and growing profitable sales.

"We have always enjoyed the history and heritage A&W has as a truly original and iconic brand."

—Eric Estes, Kansas (8 restaurants)

It All Started With a Roadside Stand.

Roy W. Allen opened his first Root Beer stand in Lodi, California on June 20th. It was a hot night that coincided with a city-wide party celebrating the homecoming of local World War I heroes.

Allen partnered with former Lodi employee Frank Wright. They leased their first two Root Beer stands to other operators so they could expand into the larger city of Sacramento. This was around the same time the partners coined the new name A&W®, “A” for Allen & “W” for Wright.

Allen began to sell franchises to others, thus establishing the first franchise restaurant chain in America.

Thanks to the postwar boom & prevalence of G.I. loans, there was a flurry of new development & nearly 450 operating A&Ws. Allen sold the entire operation to the A&W Root Beer Co., a California company.

A&W went international, opening the first restaurants in Winnipeg & Montreal, Canada. A&W Canada was sold and currently operates independently of A&W in the United States.

A&W expanded to the Philippines, Malaysia, & Okinawa, Japan. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Original Bacon Cheeseburger was born at A&W.

A&W celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

A&W Root Beer became available in bottles and cans.

Rooty the Great Root Bear™ was born.

The 100th International Restaurant was opened in Thailand.

In conjunction with A&W’s 80th Anniversary, the world’s largest Root Beer Float was created. 2562.5 gallons of Root Beer were used to break the world record.

100% Real Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese Curds were introduced.

A&W was purchased by a group of domestic & international A&W Franchise Partners.

There are approximately 1000 restaurants (and counting) in the United States and Southeast Asia. An estimated 45 new restaurant openings are planned for 2017 between the U.S. & International markets. Click “Let’s Get Started” to learn how you can be a part of our storied history.