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A&W Restaurants

A&W is a chain of fast food restuarants distinguished by their draft root beer, made on the premises from concentrate and served in large glass mugs. It is the oldest fast food franchise company in the United States. They serve a typical fast food menu of hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries. Many are 1950s-themed and sponsor classic car cruises. A number of them are drive-in restaurants with car-hops.

A&W began in 1922 in Lodi, California when Roy Allen took on partner Frank Wright to help with the root beer business he had started three years earlier. They branded their product A&W root beer. Two years later Allen bought out Wright and began franchising his product. His profits came from a small franchise fee and concentrate sales. There was no set food menu for franchises until 1978.

A&W may have been the first drive-in and by 1960 they had 2000 stores. In 1971 a beverage division was started, supplying bottled A&W products to grocery stores.

A&W is currently a Yum! Brands, Inc company with divisions in the U.S., Canada, and an international division serving southeast Asia. Most A&W locations that have opened in the U.S. in recent years have been cobranded with Yum!'s fish and chips chain Long John Silver's.

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