A&W Restaurants unveiled a new look for our franchises at annual convention, using updated ‘hip nostalgia’ design to convey innovation to consumers

An artist’s rendering shows the exterior of an A&W restaurant with exterior patio seating and outlines of people walking around the restaurant.

One of the highlights at our annual convention this year, aside from the fabulous Hawaiian location, was the reveal of the upcoming design revamp for all A&W Restaurants.

Dubbed Gen19, the new design package is a modern makeover that will maintain the core character of A&W branding while keeping things fresh. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come:

With retro neon signage, updated seating and hip nostalgia pop art murals of our mouthwatering food, A&W Restaurants will feel at once familiar and new. We’re maintaining strong touches of our signature orange, complemented by earthy grays. The new interior design also creates more of an open feel without sacrificing seating.
An artist’s rendering shows the updated interior of an A&W restaurant, with orange plastic molded chairs, blonde wood tables, taller metal chairs at a communal table and orange pendant lighting.

Updates can boost traffic, affect productivity

Restaurant design encompasses everything from queueing patterns and kitchen efficiency to dining experience, so it’s important to get it right. A&W worked with Lexington, KY, design firm Cornett for our latest update.

Today’s fast-casual customers are more savvy, so getting it right is important, brand design expert Brenna Johnson wrote in a guest column for QSR magazine.

“Consumers are expecting your brand message to be sophisticated and complex,” she wrote. “Guests expect to see your brand delivered to them through everything they can taste, touch, see, hear, and smell.”

New investors who sign franchise agreements with A&W will automatically be using the upgraded design, and existing franchisees on a go-forward basis. It is our intention to bring renewed attention to the A&W’s brand with our updated design while still maintaining our intrinsic value to longtime fans.

“It’s a new element of customer engagement that relies on more than just the product they’re selling,” Johnson wrote in QSR. “It’s also now about building a captivating and relevant environment. An upgrade in interior design can improve the customer’s perception of the brand and increase a restaurant’s perceived value.”

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