Five years after YUM! sale, the restaurant company is launching a new franchise sales initiative, adding c-store and traditional foodservice locations.
Quick-service chain A&W Restaurants has kicked off an aggressive development program. The new growth initiative calls for 12 c-store locations to launch in 2017.
A&W franchisees own and operate a total of 625 U.S. restaurants, with approximately 375 co-branded KFC or Long John Silver’s—87 of which are located in gas stations and c-stores. Over the past five years, A&W has opened 15 c-store units.
New plans include a new franchising website, the hiring of a public relations firm, increased advertising and greater visibility at trade shows. A&W wants to expand its presence in gas and convenience, as well as traditional franchisees nationwide.
Lexington, Ky.-based A&W, one of America’s oldest restaurant chains, was previously owned by YUM! Brands for nine years. In late 2011, with sales suffering and the segment losing units, a core group of franchisees purchased the brand. Kevin Bazner, A&W’s president prior to the YUM! acquisition, returned as president and CEO.
For the first time in more than 10 years, A&W is reporting system-wide revenue and store count growth. The announcement comes as A&W celebrates its split five years ago from the YUM! stable.
“From day one our goal was to grow profitable sales, and thanks to our franchise partners’ commitment, perseverance and passion, we have accomplished that,” Bazner said in prepared statement. “Today, our franchisees are more profitable than ever before, which sets the stage for a new phase of growth.”