- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#210 Ranked #344 last year
- Initial investment
$276K - $1.5M
- Units as of 2022
893 6% over 3 years
Bring home the taste of root beer to your favorite neighborhood and keep those good times rolling.
Few things can send you flying back down memory lane faster than the taste of an A&W root beer. It might bring back thoughts of family reunions or picnics in the park with friends, but whatever it is, root beer and good times tend to go hand in hand for many people. Now you can franchise a piece of classic Americana by running an A&W Restaurants franchise.
In addition to its root beer, A&W Restaurants also offers yummy burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sides, and ice cream. It was founded in 1919 and has been franchising since 1925, making it a franchise with an impressive amount of experience.
Why You May Want to Start an A&W Restaurants Franchise
The key difference between opening an A&W Restaurants franchise versus other fast-food brands may be that it strives to bring the community together using good root beer, good food, good people, and good times.
The A&W Restaurants franchise association board usually makes all the decisions, and everyone in the corporate office still is expected to work in a restaurant once a quarter. This means that they may not lose sight of what is most important for their A&W Restaurants franchise to thrive. If that isn’t enough to help you decide to become an A&W Restaurants franchisee, there's always the namesake beverage.
What Might Make an A&W Restaurants Franchise a Good Choice?
To be part of the A&W Restaurants franchise team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.
A&W Restaurants is often awarded for its superior franchise structure and support to veterans. It has appeared in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in its lifetime. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
How to Open an A&W Restaurants Franchise
To get started with an A&W Restaurants franchise, submit an inquiry form. If you are seen as a good fit, an A&W Restaurants franchise representative may reach out to you to begin the franchising process.
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement with A&W Restaurants, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. Speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the A&W Restaurants team. If your net worth and available liquid capital match the brand’s requirements, you may qualify to open an A&W Restaurants franchise, and you can get started with an initial investment and relevant training.
If you decide to take the next step, you'll need to decide what type of store you want your A&W Restaurants franchise to be. There are three different types: a freestanding restaurant, an inline restaurant, or a cobranded (captive) location. Whichever option you choose, it won't be long before you're filling mugs with delicious A&W Restaurants root beer and serving customers tasty food.
About A&W Restaurants
|Franchising Since||1925 (2023-1925 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||60|
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
|# of Units||893 (as of 2022)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a A&W Restaurants franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
|$15,000 - $30,000|
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
|$276,000 - $1,469,554|
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
|$150,000 - $275,000|
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|50% off franchise fee|
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Term of Agreement
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
|Is franchise term renewable?||Yes|
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
|Third Party Financing||A&W Restaurants has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll|
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
|On-The-Job Training||24-44 hours|
|Classroom Training||24-40 hours|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||No|
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like A&W Restaurants? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where A&W Restaurants landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where A&W Restaurants ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #210 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #57 in 2023
If you're interested in an opportunity with international appeal, start your search with our ranking of the top franchises seeking to expand outside the U.S.
Ranked #9 in Hamburgers in 2022
Our annual list of the top restaurant and other food franchises, divided up by category, is the perfect place to start if you’re craving a food-based business opportunity.
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