A&W is a strictly franchisee-owned operation that specializes in A&W draft root beer and hamburgers, hotdogs and French fries. Though the brand operates out of many diverse areas, from exurbs to rural areas, small town locations tend to thrive. The brand attributes its success in small towns to its nostalgia and dedication to making classic and wholesome American foods.
Because of the brand's ability to generate long-term cash flow, many franchisees have turned their restaurants into family businesses, passing along restaurants from one generation to the next. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and evening business. Though it operates with quick, fast-food like service, it is dedicated to delivering quality food of sit-down style value. Franchisees have freedom to select which items they wish to sell, within limitations. All restaurants serve the brand's signature root beer.
As one of America's best known and beloved restaurants, A&W ranks #4 on Time Magazine's 2018 list of the best fast food chains in America. Though always a good restaurant, it is undeniable that its switch to strictly franchisee-ownership led to its revitalization. Since 2011, A&W has experienced a nearly 33 percent increase in same-store sales on average a year. Its AUV for free-standing units with a drive-thru is an impressive $937,000.
A&W's shareholders are also franchise partners, which means that they operate without an exit strategy. Every decision the board makes is intended to protect each person's investment for the long-haul. Board members are always thinking about what their decisions mean for the company in the next 10 to 20 years, and not just for the next quarter.
Another perk of franchising an A&W is that the brand keeps operating costs low. It does this by partnering with Restaurant Chain Supply Solutions, a supplier and distributor of the three biggest chains in the nation: Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. The brand leverages this relationship to provide the lowest food, beverage and equipment costs to franchisees.
Ideal franchise candidates are passionate about the A&W brand. They also have a minimum liquidity of $150,000 and a net worth of at least $350,000.
Training And Support
Within 6 months of opening, the Restaurant Manager and one other full-time manager will be required to attend an 8 to 10-day training course in Lexington, KY. The training course is also available to other members of the franchisee's organization for up to three individuals. The cost of training is $200 per day. On-the-job training is also available for $200 per day.
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