Industry News | February 19, 2009

Sonic Veteran Brings Drive-In Know-How to A&W

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Matt Williams, an Oklahoma native who spent a decade with Sonic Drive-In Restaurants, opened a state of the art “3-D” A&W Restaurants Drive-In yesterday at 1462 Appleton Road in Menasha, Wisconsin. The new A&W is part of a multi-unit expansion planned for Wisconsin by Williams, who opened a unit last November in Little Chute, also near Green Bay, and plans as many as five more in 2009.

The new Menasha A&W will be open seven days a week and will offer customers the A&W “3-D” experience: Drive In, Drive Through and Dine In (seating for 44) capabilities. The opening is part of a much broader expansion plan by A&W Restaurants during the brand’s 90th anniversary.

“We have targeted Wisconsin as a key area for our 2009 growth plans to open 15 drive-ins, along with Minnesota, Michigan, and Oregon,” says Doug Heinrich, A&W director development strategy. Williams said the 2100-square feet Menasha A&W will employ 40-60 persons and will offer customers the popular A&W All American Menu of Papa Burgers, Fries, Coney Dogs, and of course, their signature frosty mugs of freshly made A&W Root Beer and Root Beer Floats. Joe Schultz of Menasha will manage the new restaurant for Williams and his franchise company All American Drive Ins, LLC. “I believe the sky is the limit for growth for A&W Restaurants,” explained Williams, a former Sonic trainer and part owner of corporate stores, “it is part of the fabric of the American dining scene.”