Group of Franchisees Completes Acquisition of A&W

    Industry News | December 23, 2011

    A&W Restaurants Inc., founded in 1919, making it the oldest fast food company in the world, has been acquired by A Great American Brand LLC, a partnership of domestic and international A&W Restaurant franchisees, from YUM! Brands Inc.

    Kevin Bazner, A&W chief executive officer, who was A&W Restaurants president from 1999 to 2003, announced the transaction from the new A&W headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Terms were not disclosed.

    “Our new owners, our franchisees, truly believe that A&W can profitably grow sales by focusing our unique positioning in the [quick-service restaurant] industry based on our heritage, service, and product quality,” Bazner says. “We know we can effectively compete in [quick-service] with our relevant line of burgers, sandwiches, desserts, and of course our unique signature made-fresh A&W Draft Root Beer.”

    Bazner says many A&W Restaurant key support staff were retained under the new ownership, to help insure a smooth transition.

    “We have a team of owners and support staff who share a common goal of growing this famous brand,” he says.

    Bazner says that they would continue to support all A&W single and multibrand locations. There are currently 1,200 restaurants including 350 international stores in 15 countries and territories.

    A&W was founded as a Root Beer stand by Roy Allen, who used a formula purchased from an Arizona pharmacist, which consisted of a unique blend of juices from 16 herbs, spices, barks, and berries. Allen sold the cold, creamy root beer for a nickel a mug on a downtown corner in Lodi, California. The venue proved so popular that the company expanded to four sites and the concession evolved into a “drive-in.” Allen approached employee Frank Wright and the two formed a partnership, which became A&W.

    The brand endured over the years and it was acquired by its outgoing owners in 2003.

    News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.