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Oldies But Goodies

Getting back to their roots raises profits for A&W franchisees.

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With all the millennial buzz about the future, it's nice to know one franchise is blasting to the past. For more than 80 years, A&W restaurants have been serving their root beer, and now franchisees are getting on the nostalgia bandwagon and watching their profits soar.

One of A&W's newest owners is Sean Ryan, who operates two units in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ryan, 29, opened his first unit in October 1999 out of a Shell convenience store. Sales were so phenomenal, he decided to open his second store in April 2000. "The A&W brand is representative in the consumer's mind of those times they miss," says Ryan.

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