A&W seeks Winchester and Embrun outlets

A screen grab from A&W's promotional video soliciting franchisees in small towns.

Call for new franchise operators

WINCHESTER — Known for its iconic root beer served in ice-cold glass mugs, the popular chain restaurant hopes to set up new locations in Winchester and Embrun — but not Chesterville.

Both villages are targeted in A&W’s recent call for franchise operators in a number of Eastern Ontario communities as the country’s second largest burger joint pursues an aggressive expansion agenda in Canada.

A minimum $350,000 investment is required.

“We are working on opportunities all over the region including Winchester, Smiths Falls, Perth, Embrun, Richmond, Kingston, Gananoque, Picton, and others. We have an immediate opportunity in Pembroke,” Sam Wootton, manager of A&W franchise development in Ottawa, Toronto and Atlantic Canada, told Nation Valley News last month.

Wootton also confirmed the chain is “not looking at Chesterville at this time.”

Above, the company’s video aimed at landing new franchisees in small communities like Winchester. It also accompanied a recent Facebook ad seeking a Winchester operator specifically, below.

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. opened its 900th restaurant in Canada last September, under a four-year strategy that aims to hit the 1,100 mark.

The Canadian-owned company opened its first restaurant, in Winnipeg, in 1956. Sales now stand at over $1-billion annually.

“We’re on a mission to make it easier for our guests to enjoy the great taste of A&W’s natural food where they live, work and play,” said Patti Parente, Vice President, Real Estate, A&W, at the milestone opening last year. “Our progress towards our 1,100 goal is very encouraging and our new locations are exceeding all expectations – proving that Canadians have an appetite for more A&W restaurants. We are always scouting new locations for all of our various concepts in both urban cities and small towns across Canada and look forward to opening even more restaurants to better serve our guests.”

A&W has overhauled the look and feel of its restaurants in recent years to appeal to what it calls urban “fast foodies.”  The strategy has included a marketing push around the company’s use of hormone-free beef, chicken and pork, and the rollout of a meat-free burger.


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