A&W Restaurants will soon open franchised restaurants in two of America’s fastest growing regions – Charlotte, North Carolina and Las Vegas, Nevada. It also is adding a location in St. Louis, Missouri.

So far this year, the iconic root beer and burger chain has signed agreements for nine new U.S. franchise restaurants. There are currently more than 900 A&Ws in the U.S. and Asia.

Same-store sales for the first half of the year in the U.S. are up 19.6 percent over 2020, which was the brand’s ninth straight year of comp-sales growth. Since being acquired by franchisees nearly 10 years ago, comp-sales are up more than 50 percent.

Las Vegas real estate developers Mike Swecker and Alan Perlmutter signed an agreement to open five restaurants in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, Henderson and other rapidly growing cities.

Veteran multi-unit restaurant operators Ronald and Nadyne Jennings committed to building three locations in the Gastonia and Kings Mountain areas of North Carolina and in the Rock Hill, South Carolina area. They currently are Schlotzky’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise owners.

Longtime St. Louis-area franchisees Jim Sill and Jim Sprick are adding to their A&W portfolio with the conversion of a former McDonald’s in Arnold, Missouri. They also are converting a former bank building into an A&W in Belleville, Illinois, which will be their eighth A&W.

“Both new and current franchisees recognize A&W offers a unique opportunity,” says CEO Kevin Bazner. “A&W is amazingly popular with consumers, and the concept is extremely well suited to conversions and c-stores, which make getting a location up and running faster and more cost-effective.” he added.

The search for sites is underway, with the restaurants expected to include a mix of conversions, c-stores and new construction. All new A&Ws are single-brand locations that feature drive-thrus.

“Unlike many other [quick-service] chains that are over-built, we have plenty of white space in markets of all sizes.” Bazner noted that A&W is the only restaurant chain owned by its franchisees, which is very appealing to prospective operators.

Now in its 102nd 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.

Franchising, News, A&W