Restaurant operator A&W sees growth in convenience sector

A&W Restaurants has reported revenue and store count growth for the first time in 10 years.

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A&W, America´s oldest restaurant chain, plans to open 20 U.S. and 25 international locations during this year after enjoying a successful 2016, and will set a special focus on the convenience and fuel retailing sector.

Today there are more than 625 A&Ws in the U.S., with many co-branded with KFC or Long John Silver´s, and 87 sites located in gas stations or convenience stores, reports QSR.

“Being franchisee-owned, our operators have much more input than with most brands, and we also give them far more flexibility to tailor their restaurants to their markets,” said Kevin Bazner, A&W’s president and CEO. “And unlike many chains that are now owned by equity groups, our owners have no exit strategy, allowing us to continue to make long-term decisions and investments.”

Through an intensive expansion campaign that includes a new franchising website, a new public relations firm, and a greater presence at trade shows, A&W is targeting growth at service stations, as well as traditional restaurants.

In 2011, a group of franchisees bought back the company from YUM! as sales were suffering and the system was losing units.