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An American A&W restaurant in Page, Arizona
A&W Restaurants, Inc. is a chain of fast-food restaurants, distinguished by its draft root beer and root beer floats. It is a fast food franchise company with locations throughout the world, serving a typical fast food menu of hamburgers and french fries, as well as hot dogs. A number of its outlets are drive-in restaurants with carhops. The company name was taken from the last name initials of partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright. The chain is currently owned by Yum! Brands.

Corporate profile


A&W began in 1919 in Lodi, Californiamarker, when Roy Allen took on partnership with Frank Wright to help him with the root beer business he had started that year. They branded their product A&W Root Beer after their last names. Two years later, Allen bought out Wright and began franchising his product. His profits came from a small franchise fee and concentrate sales.

By 1960, they had 2000 stores. In 1971, a beverage division was started, supplying bottled A&W products to grocery stores. The soft drinks sold under this brand are root beer and cream soda, made by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. For some time in the 1970s, A&W had more locations than McDonalds. Oshkosh, Wisconsinmarker franchise manager Jim Brajdic said: "Problems back then, including a lawsuit, franchisee discontent and inconsistencies in the operation, caused the chain to flounder and branches to close."

In 1989, A&W made an agreement with Minnesotamarker-based chain Carousel Snack Bars to convert that chain's 200 locations (mostly kiosks in shopping malls) to "A&W Hot Dogs & More". Some A&W Hot Dogs & More locations are still in operation today. In late 2000s, A&W started adding some new franchises with a nostalgic look and modern technology inside. They have a carhop design with drive-thrus and some have picnic tables.

In the United States and Southeast Asia, A&W is currently a Yum! Brands, Inc. company. Most A&W locations that have opened in the U.S. in recent years have been co-branded with one of Yum!'s other chains—Long John Silver's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, or Kentucky Fried Chicken. In some North American chains, A&W is often referred to as "Awesome Weiner." What started as an internet joke has now been officially recognized by Yum! brand foods and is featured on some of their billboards.

Other countries with A&W restaurants


Until 2003, Tasmaniamarker did not have any A&W stores. However, a trial run was tried, with A&W being combined with KFC stores, offering both store menus in the one location. The trial ended in late 2004, with the A&W branches closing down. In March 2005, A&W opened a joint-branch with Long John Silvers in Kings Parkmarker, New South Walesmarker. All Australian A&W restaurants closed in early 2007, due to poor sales.


There is an A&W restaurant located in the Desert Dome of the U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrainmarker.


A&W opened its first outlet in Bangladeshmarker on 15 December 2004. This 170-seat outlet is located at Gulshan 1, Dhakamarker is the largest A&W outlet in South Asia. The food served is 100% halal and is very popular with the local youth population, with root beer being the driving force of the large number of sales. A&W Bangladeshmarker serves an "All you can eat offer" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and "Baishakhi Bonanza" during the Bengali new year. As of August 2008, the restaurant was closed due to unknown reasons and is said to reopen in mid 2009 at new location in Gulshan 1.


The Canadianmarker chain of A&W restaurants are operated by a separate company, called A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. While originally part of the American operation, the Canadian company no longer has any corporate connection to the American chain.

There are approximately 700 A&W restaurants operating in Canada.

The first A&W drive-in restaurant in Canadamarker opened on Portage Avenue in Winnipegmarker in 1956.

China (Mainland)

Used to have several restaurants in Beijing.It is called "艾德熊"


During 2006, all A&W outlets closed. Before that, there were at least 4 outlets in Egyptmarker;


There were 3 combined KFC/A&W Restaurants. All of them have since been closed (Cologne in 2005, Garbsenmarker ( picture of former KFC/A&W co-branded location in Garbsen) near Hannovermarker in 2005, Berlinmarker in 2007 ( Pic of former Berlin A&W). Both of the Berlin and Cologne locations reverted to KFC-only franchises locations. The Garbsen location closed at the same time as the A&W portion of the restaurant. This example shows the same difficulty faced by A&W in Australia and in the UKmarker.


A&W has a large presence in Indonesia, operating over 200 outlets. Business appears to be strong and successful. Like in Bangladesh and Malaysia, the A&W outlets in Indonesia are 100% halal. The A&W outlets in Indonesia are the only A&W outlets that sell rice, instead of mashed potato, due to strong customer preference. A&W outlets are spreading all over the malls in major and minor cities to compete with 2 giant competitors, KFC and McDonald's.


First opened in 1963 in Tokyo, A&W drive-in restaurants were the first fast-food franchise to appear in Japanmarker. Currently, they are found in Okinawa Prefecturemarker, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, at Yokota Air Basemarker in Tokyomarker, and at the Misawa Air Basemarker Base Exchange food court. A dining room outlet opened in the Festival Gatemarker amusement park in Osaka in 1997, but closed within a year.


There were two A&W outlets in Kuwait up until 2003 when both closed.


A&W's first store in Asia Pacific opened at Kuala Lumpurmarker's Batu Road (now known as Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman) in 1963. It was also the first fast food corporation from the United Statesmarker to set foot in the country. However, A&W had a declining business era from 1997 - 2000. The most famous A&W outlet in Malaysiamarker is undoubtedly the drive-in outlet near Taman Jaya, Petaling Jayamarker, a satellite city of Kuala Lumpur. It opened in 1965 and quickly became a favourite gathering place for students, especially from the nearby Assunta and La Salle Secondary Schools. The unique A&W root beer mug was often "collected" by these young customers. It was also a favorite filming location for Malaysian movies during the 1970s and early 1980s. Customers from the 1970s will recall Tuesdays as Coney Dog Day.

During the mid-1980s, A&W also operated a second Petaling Jaya outlet at the Atria Shopping Complex in Section SS22 Damansara Jaya. In Penangmarker, A&W had an outlet at KOMTAR and Penang International Airport and has since been closed down, but new stores have been opened at malls around Penang. During the 1990s, A&W operated an outlet at Terminal 3 of the former Subang International Airport. This outlet ceased operations when the Kuala Lumpur International Airport shifted from Subang to KLIAmarker in 1998.

To date, several more A&W outlets have been opened in Malaysia, mostly in shopping malls. The largest A&W mall outlet is located in Suria KLCCmarker, the most prominent shopping complex in Malaysia. An A&W outlet opened for a number of years in Likas Square, Kota Kinabalumarker, but was closed down in 2004.

Just like in Bangladesh, the food at Malaysian A&W outlets is 100% halal.


The Philippinesmarker had a number of A&W outlets starting in the 1960s. These were all located in Metro Manilamarker, and all were closed by 2004.


In the Persian Gulf Arab state of Qatar there are at least two A&W outlets. The first one was opened in the late 1990s near the shopping district of Al Sadd area adjacent to the Baskin Robbins outlet. This outlet is very popular among nationals and expatriates alike. There is a second outlet in the Doha International Airport.


The first A&W store opened at Dunearn Road in Singaporemarker in 1966 as the first fast food restaurant from the U.S.A.marker in that country. The chain expanded in the later years, including one at Singapore Zoomarker which closed in 1999. The chain's Singapore operations dwindled by the beginning of the 21st century, and by 2002 it had only 7 outlets around the island. A&W finally closed in 2004.


There are more than 30 A&W restaurants in Thailandmarker. After a recent expansion, most locations are found at petrol stations on major highway routes. This includes 18 at PTT stations, six at Petronas stations, and four at Shell stations. Locations in shopping complexes include Pantip Plazamarker, Siam Squaremarker, and the Silom Complex. A full location list is available here: [37706]

United Arab Emirates

There used to be at least 3 A&W outlets in UAEmarker, however they have all recently been replaced with Marrybrown restaurants. To date, it is unknown why all the A&W outlets were replaced. The very first A&W outlet was opened in 1996, at a large shopping mall called Bur Juman Centre, located in Dubaimarker. Two other outlets were opened soon after at the Um Sequim Spinneys, and at the Thunder Bowl. It is believed that business was doing well in these outlets, until they started to be replaced in 2006. This situation is very similar to Egypt (above) where all 3 A&W outlets there also closed down in 2006.

United Kingdom

There were a few A&W outlets in the United Kingdommarker, all of which shared retail space with KFC such as Ashton-under-Lynemarker, Derbymarker, Glasgowmarker, and Clayton. An A&W shared space with a Long John Silvers outlet in Walsallmarker, which opened in 2004. These outlets have now all closed.

See also


1. ^ A&W Root Beer - History & Collectables

2. ^ A&W prexy sets pace for growth in the '90's - A&W Restaurants; George Michel

3. ^ BusinessWorld Philippines: Philippine brands set foot on foreign shores by Jemileen U. Nuqui and Veronica C. Silva, November 25, 2003

External links

A&W Careers

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