Starting with a tiny Root Beer stand in California, a&w grew into the nation’s first franchise restaurant chain. Along the way it popularized drive-in restaurants and made Root Beer Floats a nationwide – and international – treat. Even Marriott hotels traces its roots to A & W. 100 years of history is, well, lots of history. But here’s a good beginning.
1) A&W was founded on June 20, 1919 in Lodi, California, with the first mug of Root Beer served in a homecoming parade for World War I veterans; it had been the very first U.S. chain restaurant to expand to Southeast Asia (1963).
2) A&W Restaurants is more than sliced bread (1919 vs. 1928).
3) A&W invented the first Bacon Cheeseburger in 1963 (introduced by Dale Murder who became president and is also now chairman from the board).
4) A&W introduced Rooty the Great Root Bear as the mascot in 1973.
5) A&W Restaurants manufactured 150,000 glass mugs for 2019, saving approximately 180 paper cups per mug.
6) A&W Restaurants has raised over $800,000 for veterans-related charities since 2014.
7) California hosts the most A&W Restaurants with approximately 70 locations.
a. 2nd most: Wisconsin (approximately 50 locations)
b. 3rd most: Michigan (approximately 40 locations)
8) Gallons of the&W Root Beer consumed in 2018 (domestic and international): 1,109,934
9) Pounds of Cheese Curds sold in 2018 (U.S. only): 2,060,988
10) There are nearly one thousand A&W restaurants worldwide, with approximately 600 inside the U.S.
On June 20, A&W took over as the first American restaurant chain to change 100. The first frosty mug of Root Beer was served in Lodi, California in a parade honoring World War I veterans. “A&W has a long background of supporting veterans,” said A&W CEO Kevin Bazner. “With this being our centennial year, National Root Beer Float Day is extra special.”
This is A&W’s seventh annual National Root Beer Float Day celebration and also the third year it provides partnered with DAV. A&W and DAV aspire to raise $200,000 for the organization, which serves multiple million veterans annually. Fundraising began in late June. The $150,000 A&W raised for DAV in 2018 provided approximately $6 million in direct advantages to veterans.
“Our partnership with AAndW is growing each year, so we truly appreciate its support for our ill and injured veterans,” said Marc Burgess, DAV National Adjutant and CEO. “The needs of our own American heroes are xagtcr as great today as a hundred years ago, so we are very glad to again be employing aAndW on National Root Beer Float Day.”
Since 2013, A&W has raised greater than $800,000 for veterans groups during National Root Beer Float Day.
Regarding A&W – America’s first and oldest restaurant chain, a&w breakfast hours still makes Root Beer fresh in each restaurant from real cane sugar, water along with a proprietary combination of herbs, bark, spices and berries which can be served in a frosty mug along side burgers, fries, chicken tenders as well as other All American Food® favorites. There are nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.