Why A&W is perfect for veterans

The skills you honed in the armed forces will help you succeed as an A&W Restaurants franchise owner

An American flag casually draped in the background is overlaid with the text, “An All American Favorite” and a frosty branded mug of A&W Root Beer.

A&W Restaurants has had a special tie to veterans since our very beginning almost 100 years ago. Today, we’d love to welcome veterans into our franchise family with a 10% discount off our franchise fee for qualified vets.

We’re members of VetFran, the arm of the International Franchise Association (IFA) that helps U.S. military vets transition into civilian life by giving them greater access to franchising opportunities. As an IFA and VetFran member, A&W is a great franchise for veterans, and not just because of our discounted veterans’ fees.

You see, A&W’s history has a very strong connection with veterans. We got our start in 1919 when founder Roy Allen set up his first Root Beer stand during a parade for returning WWI vets in Lodi, CA. In fact, we’ve raised over $650,000 for veteran-related charities since 2013, including $100,000 donated to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in 2017.

Jeff Gray, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976-81, today runs his own A&W franchise in Longview, WA. “Being in the Air Force taught me discipline, how to stay organized and how to figure things out. These were all very valuable lessons, and they have me how to run a successful business,” he says.

Why veterans are great for franchising

As a veteran, you understand, in a way most civilians don’t, certain qualities found in successful franchise partners. Whether you’ve served one tour of duty or you’re retiring from a long career, you’ve learned drive, determination, the importance of teamwork and the value of leadership. These characteristics are key to succeeding with any franchise, and it’s why franchising makes such a great post-military career.

As a Supply Sergeant and Armorer, Brian Adams worked for the 1st Corps Support Command and the 18th Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC, from 1984-89. He has a lot of experience in franchising, and was a Franchisee Business Coach for former A&W owner YUM Brands for a while, helping open franchises from Arkansas to North Dakota.

Today, the U.S. Army veteran is  the Chief Operating Officer for Dee Jay’s QSR, which owns and operates nine Long John Silver’s/A&W restaurants in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“The leadership and dedication to training skills that I learned and developed during my service play a huge part in how I do my business today,” Adams says.

A&W is part of VetFran’s network of over 650 brands that offer financial incentives, training and mentorship to veterans seeking a career in franchising. And since 2011, more than 6,500 veterans have become franchise owners. We’d like to see that number increase even further with the A&W opportunity.

Why A&W is a great franchise for veterans

A&W is a unique restaurant franchise thanks in part to how our ownership is structured. We are owned by our franchisees, and as such they weigh in on every decision we make. Who better to understand what our franchise owners need?

Together, the decisions we’ve made and the strategies we’ve crafted since 2011 have driven A&W to new heights: We’ve averaged nearly 33% increases in same-store sales since then. We can attribute that not just to our smart leadership decisions, but to our solid training, proven business systems and excellent vendor partnerships.

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.

A&W has over 625 units across the U.S., and we have prime territory available nationwide. We’d love to add more veterans to our roster of franchise owners.

As VetFran says on its website, “The franchise business model provides comprehensive training opportunities, scalability and the need for operational execution and excellence, offering an ideal career path to enable veterans to become productive participants in the U.S. economy.”

Learn more about the A&W opportunity

Would you like to take advantage of our 10% franchise fee discount? Would you like to be part of a brand with a long history and a bright future? Find out what A&W has to offer you by exploring our research pages. You can also fill out the short form on this page to start a conversation.

Learn More


If you have a minimum of $100,000 in liquid assets to invest, complete the form below to receive a free copy of our Franchise Information Report and start a conversation about owning an A&W Restaurant.



  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.