A&W Restaurants has inked deals to open 9 new U.S. locations -- all which will include drive-thrus.
The new locations include Las Vegas, St. Louis, Mo., and Charlotte, N.C.
For the 102-year-old brand, same-store sales for the first half of the year in the U.S. are up 19.6% over 2020. Last year, A&W Restaurants reported a 9% comp sales increase and the brand’s standalone drive-thru model saw a 14% increase. Now, the franchise is prioritizing the growth of its standalone drive-thru model.
A&W’s news comes as drive-thru visits have increased 36% since the early days of the pandemic with 9 out of 10 visiting in May 2021, according to the State of What Feeds Us report.
Drive-thrus, according to market research firm The NPD Group, are the key to the industry's future. Drive-thrus have always been the ultimate in convenience and speed but during the pandemic they were the lifeline for QSRs and fast casual brands. Consumer demand for drive-thru has spurred brands to revisit their store development plans, adding drive-thrus and contactless pickup options to their new designs.