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A&W Launches Expanded Franchising Push


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After previewing its strategy in a recent Franchise Times cover story, A&W Restaurants announced an expanded, multi-faceted franchising strategy that builds on its success since being acquired from YUM! brands. The centerpiece of the campaign is an all-new franchise information website.

A&W has nearly 1,000 locations worldwide, with more than 630 in the U.S. The company added 15 domestic locations in 2017, and it is on target to open 20 in 2018. The iconic brand has seen an average sales increase of nearly 30 percent between 2011 and 2017.

As part of his recent story in Franchise Times, CEO Kevin Bazner emphasized that the brand’s expansion strategy was based on improving unit-level economics that would “push” the brand’s existing franchisees into expansion, rather than the headquarters “pulling” them toward adding new units.

“We don’t believe the right way for our brand is to force development,” Bazner said. “It’s really to continue to work on the business model that makes people want to grow the business.”

The new website comes amid an expanded franchising focus that includes hiring Franchise Performance Group, a franchise consulting and digital lead generation firm, and the addition of internal development staff. In January, A&W will begin an aggressive digital media advertising campaign targeting independent and multi-unit operators. Earlier this year it kicked off a comprehensive public relations program to educate potential owners about the A&W Restaurant brand.

The revamped website provides an in-depth look at A&W’s business model, such as investment and startup costs, financial performance and available territories. It also features interviews with A&W franchisees and executives.

“In addition to the brand’s longevity, A&W is unique because it is owned and operated by franchisees. They have a true voice in every decision that affects the brand,” Bazner added. “After acquiring A&W, we first focused on stabilizing the business and growing profitable store sales. With this accomplished, we are ready to make a big push forward,” he added.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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