A&W Canada is a chain of fast-food stores serving a combination of delicious burgers, chicken, the popular frosted mug of Root Beer, and many more great-tasting meals. According to Andrew (2012), A&W Canada was the most successful company that began its existence in 1956. Operating in the restaurant industry, it proved to be the eating outlet of choice for the majority of Canadians, flourishing quickly during the late 50’s and early 60’s. In fact, A&W was the first restaurant to be branded in Canada. The company became famous in the country for its frosted mug of Root Beer and the delicious burger that was unavailable elsewhere. The frosty mugs would be frozen before being filled with the delectable Root Beer and offered to the customers.
Since its inception, A&W has continued to expand, growing into over 800 locations from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. According to the Canadian Restaurant & Foodservices Association Report (2013), one of the drivers of growth of A&W up to this day is the fact that although much has changed over time, the things that made the company famous during the early days remain the same even today. They still serve Root Beer in the traditional frosted mugs, their onion rings are still extracted from natural onions, and the burgers are still freshly prepared with a great combination of ingredients. Although the company’s commitment to offering the best fast-foods has not changed, the current A&W is fundamentally different from the early drive-ins. Today, the organization has grown to address the changing customer needs for convenience and faster service. The drive-ins have been replaced with contemporary stand-alone drive-thru restaurants. Moreover, the company has expanded into more accessible locations that are convenient to customers such as major shopping centers, highways, and airports. The famous Root Beer is also offered in bottles and cans and sold even in local groceries. With an amusing history, A&W looks forward to a bright future. As such, the management is committed to recruiting more franchisees in Canada to realize the company’s expansion dream.
The Mission Statement and Core Values
According to the A&W official website (2017), the company embarks on a journey to provide delightful and simple ingredients prepared with ultimate care. The goal of the company is to maintain food quality standards conveniently at affordable prices. Since its inception, A&W has been devotedto putting customers, practices, and processes into proper perspective to stay ahead of the competitors. One of its core values is respect for clients as they are at the heart of its growth. Commitment lets the management make prudent sourcing decisions as well as to remain true to the A&W brand. Sustainable priorities have over the time enabled the company to make a remarkable difference in the communities around it. High-class foods are the main driver of change that allows the company to create positive impacts on various Canadian communities.
Popular Products and the Prices
The great burgers, Root Beer, and chicken are the top three most popular foods served at A&W restaurants. According to Andrew (2012), A&W is the only place in Canada where you can find burgers made without steroids or hormones and natural Root Beer. Their delicious chicken comprises 100% of seasoned thigh, rib, wings, and drumstick raised with zero antibiotics. A&W chicken is breaded and battered to perfection with tangy spices and wheat flour. The famous Root Beer is made with carbonated water, caramel, sugar, and organic flavors. The average price of a burger is $6.99 while the chicken costs $7.99. A frozen mug of Root Beer would be $2.0. However, the prices are not standardized and vary depending on the location of the restaurant.
The Current Position of A&W Restaurants
Taubman (2014) reveals that although A&W Canada is an ancient company, it has dominated the market, emerging as the second largest burger chain and beating top rivals such as Burger King and Wendy’s in terms of the number of outlets. A&W Canada is a division of the American A&W Inc., reproducing the latter’sin every aspect: from the menu items to brands. The key to A&W Canada’s success is the management’s ability to adapt as well as staying true to the brand. In the recent past, A&W had succeeded in establishing the presence and leading in Quebec and Ontario regions that were previously dominated by McDonald’s and Tim Hortons. One of the sources of its competitive advantage is the fact that unlike other fast-food joints, it allows its franchisees to establish multiple stores, even in one location. Taubman (2014) notes that like its major competitor, McDonald’s, A&W has put in place the necessary mechanisms to address the changing consumer tastes. The ongoing strategic plan by A&W Canada is to scale up customer experience and food quality to enable the company’s rapid growth despite the harsh environment which other fast-food store chains are facing. As a result of incorporating high-quality ingredients in its menu, the organization has remained ahead of others in terms of sales revenue.
A&W SWOT Analysis
- A&W has dominated the Canadian market since 1956.
- A&W enjoys a high reputation.
- Immensely popular Root Beer.
- A&W offers its customers high-quality foods at affordable prices.
- Incredible customer service.
- Insensitivity to market fluctuations.
- Lack of a robust marketing strategy that can beat the market leaders.
- Failure to retain the traditional well-known drive-ins.
- Challenges in the transition from the popular drive-ins to the infamous drive-thru.
- A&W restaurants are not available in some major cities in Canada.
- Expansion to Canadian urban centers where it has not yet been ventured.
- Turning its brand into multiple units to reach out to more customers.
- Add more fast-foodsto its menu as well as using the McDonald’s health challenges as a tool to market its brand.
- Generating more sales by targeting young adults.
- Leveraging on the health campaign.
- Highly competitive restaurant industry with many existing and emerging opponents.
- Consumers tastes and preferences are changing to healthier foods.
- High marketing budgets by competitors such as McDonald’s which A&W cannot stand.
- A&W operates in a greatly fragmented Canadian market.
- Policy changes in the restaurant industry may affect A&W’s ability to generate more sales.
A&W Canada. (2017). Discover the good food that makes us Canada’s favorite. Retrieved from https://web.aw.ca/en/home
Andrew, F. S. (2006). A&WRoot Beer. Popular culture universe.In Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. (pp. 44-45). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Canadian Restaurant & Foodservices Association. (2013). Food safety code of practice: For Canada’s foodservice industry. Toronto: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
Taubman, A. Alfred. (2014). Business investments – directorships and other investments – A&W restaurants. North Vancouver, B.C: Self-Counsel Press.