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A & W Restaurants


Home of the frosty mug of root beer and the Papa Burger, A&W Restaurants have been attracting families and American fast-food lovers for nearly a century. A&W is one of the earliest, maybe the earliest food franchise company in the world. The simple, attractive restaurants, for decades distinguished by their drive-up, car service, first opened in 1919 and began franchising in 1921. Today, A&W has locations all over the world, serving all-American fast food, such as a variety of hamburgers and French fries, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, kid’s cruisers, and of course, its world-renowned delicious root beer.

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Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$912,000 - $1,623,500
Franchise fee
Units in operation


A&W Restaurants are one of the several highly successful restaurant chains owned by Yum! Brands Inc., in the same family as KJC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. A&W seeks franchisees for either freestanding or mall interior restaurants. The traditional, retro A&W restaurant design continues to serve as a strength for the brand, attracting loyal customers year after year, evoking warm feelings and memories of bygone eras. Franchisees receive full support from the company in assuring their success.

A&W Restaurants Franchise Opportunities – History

A&W began in 1919 with the opening of its first restaurant in Lodi, California, when Roy Allen teamed with Frank Wright, A&W, combining Wright’s root beer business with the restaurant business in a way that has endured and grown ever since. Allen and Wright may be the first successful food-franchisers in the world, having begun franchising A&W root beer in 1921. By 1960 A&W had grown to 2,000 locations, and in 1971, A&W root beer and cream soda were distributed separately, to grocery stores worldwide, and today is the world’s Number One-selling root beer. In 2002, A&W Restaurants were acquired by Yum! Brands, Inc. In 2011, Yum! sold A&W to A Great American Brand LLC.

A&W Restaurants Franchise Cost / Initial Investment /A&W

Restaurants Franchise Income

The franchise fee to open an A&W Restaurant is $20,000-$30,000. The total investment ranges from $1.1 million to $1.7 million. A 5-6% royalty fee on monthly receipts is paid to the company.

A&W Restaurants Business Opportunities: Other Information

For many years, A&W Restaurants were known for their carhop service, but the tradition faded after the 1970s. However, in the late 2000s, A&W added several franchises with throwback, nostalgic designs, reintroducing the drive- up carhop design.

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