A&W Restaurants

American fast food chain

A&W Restaurants is a chain of fast food restaurants known for its draft root beer and root beer floats.

A&W Restaurants, Inc.
Company typeWholly owned subsidiary
IndustryFast food
FoundedLodi, California, United States (1919 (1919))
FounderRoy W. Allen
Frank Wright
Number of locations
about 1,000
Area served
16 countries and territories
ProductsHot dogs, root beer, cheese curds, hamburgers, chicken
ParentA Great American Brand LLC
Footnotes / references

A&W was the first successful franchise company: the franchises began in the 1920s in California. The company's name was taken from the surnames of partners Roy W. Allen and Frank Wright. Yum! Brands purchased the company in 2002.[3] In 2011 the company was sold back to a group of franchise owners.[3][4] Kevin Bazner returned as the CEO.[5]

The menu of A&W includes hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs and other fast food style meals. A&W has restaurants across the United States. A&W exists in Canada, but it has been owned by a different company[6] since 1972.[7] As of 2017 there were 634 restaurants in the United States and 328 international restaurants.[8]

A&W is known for "frosty mugs". This is when the mug is kept in the freezer. It is removed, filled with A&W Root Beer, and then served to the customer. A number of A&W's are drive-in restaurants with carhops.


  1. Sloan, Scott (December 9, 2011). "A&W returning headquarters to Lexington". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  2. "A&W History". A&W Restaurants, Inc. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Forster, Tim (June 15, 2017). "Why Root Beer and Burger Chain A&W Is Planning a Comeback". Eater. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  4. "Iconic A&W Restaurants, Inc. Acquired by A Great American Brand, LLC from YUM! Brands, Inc.; Growth Potential Seen for 92-Year Old Chain". BusinessWire. December 23, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  5. "A&W Restaurants Growing for First Time in 10 Years". QSR. February 7, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  6. "Canada still loves A&W". Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  7. Paul, Alexandra (March 29, 2015). "End of era for city's oldest A&W". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  8. "A&W Opens 5 New QSRs in C-Stores". CSP. May 22, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.