For more than 100 years, A&W Restaurants have been getting the job done. Here are 4 reasons behind our staying power.

A hand holds a Root Beer Float in an A&W-branded mug in the foreground while an out-of-focus bacon cheeseburger, fries and strawberry shake are seen in the background.

Every business has its brand pillars. For A&W Restaurants, three of our biggest strengths as a business opportunity are our near-universal brand recognition, our menu and our supply chain. Our franchisee ownership structure is the cherry on top.

Here’s a look at four of the pillars of our brand and how they benefit franchisees.

Supply chain advantage

One of the biggest advantages we have in 2019 is our supply chain vendor Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions (RSCS).

RSCS is a major buying co-op that handles supply and distribution for Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, three of the largest franchises in the U.S. That means great prices on food, paper and restaurant equipment for our franchisees. The fact that RSCS is already servicing tens of thousands of restaurants means there’s nowhere in the country they can’t go. That gives our owner-operators the kind of buying power and reach usually afforded only to much larger franchise systems. That’s a boon for our small-town franchise owners as well as multi-unit developers who want to delve into new territories.

“The relationship we have with RSCS is probably one of the more unique things that we have going for us,” says franchisee Tom Thompson of Dubuque, Iowa. “I don’t know how many other smaller brands can say that they’re associated with a food-purchasing co-op with equipment-purchasing benefits as well. That’s a tremendous advantage for A&W.”

Our menu advantage

Hot-off-the-grill burgers. Hand-breaded chicken tenders. Root Beer floats. What’s not to love? A&W’s menu has broad appeal. Is it trendy? No. But the burger category continues to rule, comprising 44%, or over $90 billion, of sandwich sales in 2016, according to research firm Technomic. And our unique brand of hip nostalgia has been great at attracting customers since 1919.

Back in those days, we served up our fresh-made Root Beer in cold, frosty glass mugs. In 2019, we still do. People are nostalgic for those kinds of small pleasures, and it makes a difference in customer engagement.

Our brand recognition

Who hasn’t heard of A&W? We’ve been serving customers nationwide for the last century, and we have generations of brand recognition. Just about everyone has a fond memory of heading out with a date or with their family, enjoying a creamy, delicious ice-cold Root Beer Float and some Papa Burgers and Cheese Curds. Customers not only know A&W — franchisees typically hear a lot of excitement when they announce that they’re bringing an A&W Restaurant to town.

Our ownership structure

Perhaps A&W Restaurants’ most remarkable distinction is the way the brand’s ownership is structured. We are franchisee-owned. Our stakeholders are our franchisees, and every decision is collaborative. This business isn’t run by some ivory-tower MBA who has never seen the inside of a kitchen and doesn’t even eat the food here. We live it, and breathe it. Everyone in our corporate office works inside a restaurant at least once a quarter so we can experience the brand ourselves — and see first-hand how brand decisions play out for local restaurants.

Franchise owners play a key role in every decision through the National A&W Franchisees Association (NAWFA) Board, which approves all decisions in concert with our Executive Team. There is true representation here, and that’s not always the case with franchises.

Learn more

Learn more about becoming a part of the A&W franchise family. Fill out the form on this page to start a conversation, or explore our website to learn more about the franchise opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!