A&W Restaurants (also known as Allen & Wright Restaurants) is an American fast food restaurant chain distinguished by its burgers, draft root beer and root beer floats. From it’s origins as a root beer stand to their first restaurant that opened in 1923, the company became famous in the United States for its “frosty mugs” – the mugs were kept in a freezer and filled with A&W Root Beer just before being served to customers. Here are some facts about the brand.
1) A&W is the first American chain restaurant to reach the 100 year milestone.
2) Dale Mulder, an A&W franchisee in Lansing, Michigan, created the Bacon Cheeseburger in 1963. Mulder later served as A&W’s president and chairman.
3) In 2018, A&W purchased 679,735 pounds of bacon, serving approximately 13,594,700 slices on its Bacon Cheeseburgers.
4) Roy Allen served the first frosty mug of A&W Root Beer on June 20, 1919 in Lodi, California, during a homecoming parade for WWI veterans. A&W historically has supported veterans since then.
5) On National Root Beer Float Day, August 6, participating A&W Restaurants serve free small Root Beer Floats, requesting donations for veterans’ groups.
6) A&W Root Beer is named for partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright.
7) A&W Root Beer (1919) is older than sliced bread (1928).
8) A&W was the first American quick-service restaurant to open in Malaysia (1963) and Singapore (1966). In 1963, it was the first American hamburger shop to open in Okinawa. Today, there are more than 370 A&Ws in Asia, including Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport.
9) Guests at A&W Restaurants in the U.S. and Asia consume more than 1.1 million gallons of Root Beer a year.
10) By serving its Root Beer in reusable glass mugs, A&W Restaurants keep 180 paper cups per mug out of landfills each year. Photo Credit: Ron Holman
11) The Burger Family personified A&W’s burger offerings in the 1960s and beyond: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger and Baby Burger.
12) All associates in A&W’s Lexington, Kentucky headquarters work a shift in a restaurant each quarter. Yes, your burger may have been grilled by the president.
13) A&W Root Beer is made fresh in each restaurant. It takes about 45 minutes to prepare.
14) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Seger wrote portions of “Night Moves” at a Michigan A&W drive-in. The classic hit is among the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll,” according to the museum.
15) Marriott International began as an A&W franchise in Washington, D.C. during 1927.