A&W Restaurants is closing in on its best annual comp-sales performance in five years, having posted a 13.5 percent increase in in September. October sales also are expected to be up by more than 10 percent. If the double-digit sales growth trend continues, A&W will surpass 2015, when sales were up 9.9 percent over the previous year.
According to Chief Executive Kevin Bazner, new locations opened this year are contributing to the brand’s performance. “The new A&Ws have consistently opened to long lines, with sales continuing to exceed expectations,” Bazner says. “Our franchise partners – and our support team – worked exceptionally hard to get these new restaurants staffed and opened, so it’s very rewarding to see everyone’s efforts pay off.”
The newest restaurant opened November 9 in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. There are six locations under construction. They are scheduled to open in 2021. Franchise agreements have been signed for an additional nine units. All will be either stand-alone A&Ws or convenience store sites.
“The pace of development – especially permitting and construction – is clearly picking up from this spring and summer,” Bazner says. “A&W’s performance has created quite a bit of buzz, which in turn is attracting a large number of prospects.”
He noted that A&W’s restaurant sales and development in Southeast Asia also are rebounding. This year its international franchisees have opened 11 locations, with five more expected by the end of December. A company-owned location is being added next month in Singapore.
There are more than 900 A&W restaurants worldwide, with more than 550 in the U.S. All but three domestic locations are franchised.
Now in its 101st year, A&W is America’s first franchised restaurant chain. Known for its All American Food, as well as Root Beer that is made fresh in each restaurant and served in frosty mugs, there are more than 900 A&Ws in the U.S. and Asia.