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A&W Fast Food Restaurants to Close in 2012

America could possibly bid farewell to an icon this coming year. The fast food restaurant chain A&W is speculated to stop serving burgers and root beer floats in 2012.

Founded in 1919, the restaurant developed the “drive in” format that remains a staple of American fast food even today. Known for its signature root beer and burgers, the company boomed after World War II and over 450 franchises were opened nationwide. However, today there are only 322 operating national stores. The company has been deemed too small to be successful. The soda manufacturing side of the business will remain untouched as Dr.Pepper/Snapple owns the container beverage version of A&W Root Beer.

Is this a sign of the times? Are fast food restaurants possibly losing their pull with the American people? Doubtful, as A&W’s biggest competitors are KFC and McDonalds, both fast food super giants. A&W simply can not compete with the thousands of stores their rivals have world-wide.

An interesting note in the fast food battle, however, is that Subway chains, known for serving more “health conscious” foods, are holding their own against titans McDonalds and KFC. Subway has over 35,000 worldwide locations, very close to the amount of McDonalds.

While it’s a misnomer that all Subway menu items are healthy, it is true that they offer a very large variety of nutritious and beneficial meal options. This is not a claim most fast food chains can make.

So maybe, just maybe, the possible closing of the A&W establishment is a forecast of what’s to come. Perhaps the fact that restaurants like Subway are beating many popular burger and fried food joints, is an indicator of healthier trends on the horizon.

A&W’s fate is not sealed as its closing is still a speculation at this point. The company has been for sale by its holding company, Yum! Brands, since January. So far there have been no buyers. The analysts who make these brand predictions are not always correct, and have missed the mark before. Time will tell if A&W has what it takes to make it into the new year.

If we do bid farewell to this pioneer in the industry, is it conceivable to think that America could pay homage to the clever “drive-in” concept, by car hops serving up fresh apple slices instead of fries?

Via: Huffington Post

Also Read:

Fast Food Wars: Is It a Losing Battle?

L.A. Closer to Banning New Fast Food Restaurants

Corn Pops Cereal to Leave Shelves for Good in 2012

June 29th, 2011

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(Page 1 of 1, 36 total comments)


its has a lot of fat

posted Feb 13th, 2012 4:54 pm


A&W does so have a veggie burger in Canada and they have whole wheat buns that you can request with any of their sandwiches. As far as I am aware, they were the first of the fast food venues (not including Wendy's) to offer healthier options and one of the few to stick it out and still offer these options. I have an A&W a few blocks away from home here in EastVan and they always have the freshest ingredients, they are super clean and the staff are friendly and polite. This is the only fast food venue I stop into for my son.

posted Feb 12th, 2012 5:47 pm

Ulf Topf

A&W is doing great in Canada. Not sure where this doomsday article comes from - maybe it is true in the USA....
On January 18, 2011 Yum! Brands announced its intention to sell A&W along with Long John Silver's. Citing poor sales for both divisions, Yum! planned to focus on international expansion for its remaining brands, with particular emphasis on growth in China. In September 2011, Yum! announced that they would sell the chain to A Great American Brand LLC. The sale was finalized on December 19, 2011

posted Jan 22nd, 2012 5:18 pm


I would regret the loss of A&W. Their root beer is simply the best around. You are correct in saying, "The soda manufacturing side of the business will remain untouched as Dr.Pepper/Snapple owns the container beverage version of A&W Root Beer." However, they only own the rights to the name, not the formula. The A&W you buy in bottles and cans is not the same as what you get in the restaurants. Perhaps they'll finally license their recipe.

posted Jan 11th, 2012 4:51 pm


A&W is closing because of one reason: Prices. My wife and I went there last March during a vacation and an order of cheese curds and a soda was nearly $9. I never went there again.

posted Jan 3rd, 2012 3:48 pm


Unlike its competitors (McDonalds and Subway) A & W has refused to adapt its menu to changing consumer tastes. You cannot find even a Veggie Burger on an A & W menu.

posted Jan 2nd, 2012 6:07 pm


A&W burgers are outstanding, especially the Teenburger. Really surprised that A&W is struggling in the States.

posted Dec 30th, 2011 6:40 pm


whistle dogs are the best

posted Dec 27th, 2011 10:22 pm

Dan Mac

Maybe it will end up being a regional restaurant. Their Teenburger in Canada is an iconic sandwich, but the menu is small.

posted Dec 23rd, 2011 5:16 am


Here in the Detroit area our family goes with a local chain that twice as good!
TUBBY'S!! They rule!

posted Dec 19th, 2011 1:00 pm


Greatly unsupported - this article doesn't even state where these 'facts' are coming from. And to advertise Subway in the article is just mud-slinging in an already dirty corporation. I'd take Pita Pit over Subway any day (considering I myself have been poisoned on more than one occasion from Subway's "fresh food").
Back to this unsupported article, it only lists what ever Wikipedia already does (history, how many...Etc). There's no citation on any stats, if there are any real ones in there.
Here's some advice:
1.) State facts - not speculation (such as word use like "possibly").
2.) Bring some news. The fact that a burger and fries isn't the healthiest food choice is no stranger to anyone with an internet connection.
3.) Don't endorse competition in articles. It's just...Not very professional.
4.) Be up to date.
5.) Have a burger sometime.

As much as I like healthy foods such as a nice, crisp pita - I don't slander other food sources on the internet with unfounded information. Nice try, though. Maybe you should be encouraging people to make healthy choices without this...Crap, for lack of better words at the moment.

posted Dec 16th, 2011 5:30 pm


Just no. A&W is one of the more popular chains in basically every place I've been in Canada, and this is just not happening. Don't even go there.

This is speculation and does in fact reek of slanderous advertising.

Who did you get your facts from, and did you talk to anyone who knows ANYTHING about A&W?

posted Dec 16th, 2011 4:54 pm


My Dad and I love A&W! It's better then Burger King and McDonalds. If anyone should close it's Burger King!

posted Dec 16th, 2011 11:13 am


A&W seems to be doing quite well in Canada; they even serve breakfast.

posted Dec 5th, 2011 8:42 am


Wondering if anyone knows if A&W franchise closed the deal yet with a great american brand? We are potential buyers of a A&W and are not sure if we should proceed. Any feed back would be great! Thanks.

posted Nov 23rd, 2011 7:42 pm


I prefer A&W over McBarf anyday of the week. I don't go to A&W because there isn't one up in Northern California. As a kid we used to go often to one located in Oxnard CA and It was great until they closed. I hope the ones that are left keep operating independently. You don't have to answer to Wall Street and sell your soul to those blood sucking leeches.

posted Nov 12th, 2011 8:49 pm

Aaron the Modestan

Not true! A&W HAS been sold, and to A Great American Brand.

posted Nov 10th, 2011 11:29 pm


No!! I for one hope it's not true. Love the A & W! And who doesn't want an $.85 Papa Burger after a Greg Jennings touchdown? :)

posted Nov 10th, 2011 4:26 pm


dont forget the footlongs hotdogs

posted Nov 8th, 2011 8:07 pm


No, A&W shouldn't close, Other Fast food Restaurant that not serving hygine food close, like the resent new about how they were serving dirty food to the customer.

posted Oct 23rd, 2011 10:37 pm

Root Bear

The brand has a huge presence in grocery stores. The brand will not die. The brand will keep the stores 'afloat'. They have successfully shared building space with other Yum! brand stores.

posted Oct 17th, 2011 6:59 pm



Get a life and I know you are a Micro-Manager. If it not your way it is no way. Grow up

posted Oct 7th, 2011 9:05 am

Nick Gerrits

I too love a good Old Fashioned after a hard days work

posted Sep 29th, 2011 2:46 am


maybe lacey should do her job by writing the "facts" instead of "momming" or training for the olympics.

Her false info could sink a hard working entrepenuer's life's work

I bet she's a tree huggin' vegetarian

posted Sep 25th, 2011 9:56 pm

Ozark Homesteader

I don't eat red meat but do like an old-fashioned root beer in a frosty mug. I think A&W could survive as an upscale diner, not a fast food place. It's so retro, it's hip!

posted Sep 17th, 2011 4:06 pm


Like A&W, though I don't get there very often. Last one I went to was in Frankfort, Michigan a couple of months ago..

posted Sep 14th, 2011 3:14 pm


My Jeep Hemi can not pass a gas station or an A&W. Our drive-in A&W closed up but we still have one within 15 miles. Go there every chance I get.

posted Sep 10th, 2011 9:37 pm

Bill O

A&W died long ago. Their heyday was in the 50s and 60s with their drive in restaurants. They recently came back as a stand alone.

posted Sep 9th, 2011 10:01 am


If Subway is where all the whales of America are going to eat count me out! Cold Sandwiches and tasteless vegatables on soppy bread YUCK! Give me an A 2 W burger anytime pall ! That is what is wrong with america these fat don't have the time to wait for their food to cook even !

posted Aug 29th, 2011 8:06 am

Diane Beitz

As an owner of both franchisees I find that people have a big choice and they do make the choice, certainly not the best for them most of the time.. Jay you are right on, and I see A&W being around for a lot of years .Most generally if any business fails it's because of poor management decisions.
I find that reporters, writers,columnists and newscasters no longer have to present facts. By the way, Subway is now the largest franchise in the world.

posted Jul 31st, 2011 7:18 pm

Jay Jasperson

Wrong, get your facts straight! I don't suppose you took a second on how many problems you cause by your SPECULATIONS. Also am an owner and happen to know there are many buyers in the hopper.

posted Jul 25th, 2011 3:38 pm


Thanks Doug for your comment. The necessary changes have been made.

posted Jul 18th, 2011 11:58 am

Doug Martzke

I am the owner of the A&W Restaurant in the photo. Your column should stick with fact rather than fiction. None of my 7 A&W restaurants (or the chain itself) will be closing. What right do you have to say MY restaurant will be closing?

posted Jul 17th, 2011 10:58 am


Sounds like an ad for Subway, a corporation that sponsored Michael Vick for an award not long ago. You people should be more careful who you kiss on the lips.

posted Jul 13th, 2011 9:00 am


Are A&W Fast food restaurants closing in Canada & USA? BUMMER! Are they closing in canada as well. They have the best fast food poutine!

posted Jun 29th, 2011 1:47 pm

Dixiejet more frosty-mug taste... :o((((

posted Jun 29th, 2011 10:58 am


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