As part of our “100 Years and Counting” Milestones series, each week we will spotlight companies celebrating quarter century anniversaries up to their 100th centennial in honor of the NRA Show’s incredible 100 years of service.

1919 was an exciting year; women won the right to vote, the 18th Amendment went into effect prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol, and the Treaty of Versaille was signed ending WWI. New restaurant concepts opened as the soldiers returned from overseas with a need for more dining options. Out of all the restaurant chains opened that year, few can brag about making it to their 100th anniversary. In fact, out of more than 19,000 companies in CSG’s Restaurant Franchisee Premier Database, only one restaurant chain franchise has made it to their centennial, A&W Restaurants.

Founded in 1919, A&W was originally a root beer stand, but its rise in popularity made the founder see the potential. In 1922 the company took on the name “A & W” after Roy W. Allen and Frank Wright teamed up to open their first full restaurant in Sacramento, CA. Three years later, in 1925, Frank Wright began to sell rights to the franchise, thus establishing the first franchise chain restaurant in the United States; and by 1950, there were nearly 450 open locations. Currently, it has 967 locations, only four of which are company-owned making A&W an excellent franchise investment.

According to CSG’s market research, A&W increased revenue by 9.8% over the previous year, which is a significant jump from the 2% increase in 2017. The first quarter of 2019 is also showing considerable improvements with a 10% rise in sales over 2018’s first quarter. One hundred years later, A&W is still highly popular among diners and social media users (46.3K Twitter and 34K Instagram followers). Congratulations A&W!

In response to the National Restaurant Association commemorating 100 Years of Wow, CSG was proud to showcase several restaurants celebrating amazing birthday milestones. We will be joining the celebration with these companies at booth 5305 to honor their extraordinary accomplishments along with our own 60th anniversary of collecting foodservice distributors and wholesale grocery data research.