A&W Restaurants Unveils New Incentive Program for C-store Operators

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A&W Restaurants Unveils New Incentive Program for C-store Operators

A&W Restaurants

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As its 100th anniversary approaches this summer, A&W Restaurants is launching a new franchise growth program with reduced royalties.

The Second Century Growth Initiative features a significant discount on royalties for new U.S. franchise partners, including convenience store operators.

The company will introduce an incentive program for current operators at the brand's centennial convention in February.

The new program reduced first-year royalties for new operators from 5 percent to 2 percent, adjusted to 3 percent in the second year and 4 percent in the third year. The royalties return to 5 percent in the fourth year.

"Reducing royalties enables operators to spend more on their operations in those crucial first years," said A&W President Paul Martino, describing how the program underscores the company's long-term focus. He added that the discounts will save the owner of a restaurant with approximately $550,000 in sales $33,000 in royalties.

"As a franchisee-owned brand, A&W is in a unique position to make decisions that are best for the brand and its operators over the long haul, not the next quarter," Martino explained.

As part of the Second Century Growth Initiative, Martino was promoted from chief operating officer to president and given development responsibilities, the company said. Veteran franchise sales executive Dave Crowley will serve as director of franchise recruitment. The development department was restructured and new resources were added.

Work on a new franchise training center is scheduled to begin soon.

"The last seven years have brought a remarkable turnaround, and we're very proud to have opened more than 60 restaurants," said CEO Kevin Bazner. "Now, as we enter our second century, it's time to really accelerate A&W's expansion."

Worldwide, the A&W system includes more than 1,000 restaurants, with more than 600 in the United States, including 90-plus gas and convenience units. Its growth in the c-store sector accelerated following its 2011 acquisition by a group of franchisees from Yum! Brands.