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John Campbell, LJS vice president franchise development announced the openings. Yorkshire Global Restaurants of Farmington Hills, MI, also the owner of A&W of Farmington Hills, acquired LJS, headquartered in Lexington, last fall. According to Campbell and Mark Sievers, LJS senior vice president/team leader co-branding, early results on the co-branding effort between the two sister companies are extremely positive.
"In Toccoa, which is near Greenville, South Carolina, we realized a 300 percent increase in average unit weekly sales (AUWS)," Sievers said. "In East Ridge (TN), which is near Chattanooga, AUWS were up 54 percent. Both were unofficial openings without the benefit of marketing and advertising support."
"Co-branding is the next frontier for quick service restaurants," explained Sid Feltenstein, chairman and president of Yorkshire Global Restaurant, who engineered the deal along with a group of investors to acquire both A&W in late 1995 and Long John Silver's. "We have two well known brands in the restaurant business. Each menu is distinct and compatible to each other. It is an ideal match for co-branding."
According to Campbell, many of the LJS franchisees are planning to open co-branded units.
"Our distinctive seafood menu is an ideal partner for A&W and their All American menu of burgers, hot dogs, french fries, their signature A&W Draft Root Beer and root beer floats," Campbell said. "Long John Silver's currently enjoys more than 50 percent market share and we enjoy loyal brand appeal. A&W is this country's oldest franchise restaurant chain. We are very excited about this co-branding expansion."