Every year on August 6th we'll celebrate National Root Beer Float Day at A&Ws across the country. As a part of the celebration, we will be collecting donations to honor and empower wounded warriors across the country through Wounded Warrior Project®donate now
Over 50,000 servicemen and women have been injured in the recent military conflicts. In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment. WWP's 18 programs and services are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.
To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
It all started with a tiny Root Beer Stand. Entrepreneur Roy W. Allen set up shop on the streets of Lodi, California, offering a brand new creamy and refreshing drink served in a frosty mug. It was a hot June day, and Allen thought his concoction would be perfect accompaniment for the parade honoring the return of the World War I veterans. His Root Beer was a hit - a unique and tasty, fresh-made blend of herbs, spices, barks, and berries that has remained a symbol of celebration, innocence and camaraderie ever since.
Only a few years later, after establishing other permanent Root Beer Stands, Allen partnered with Frank Wright, an employee of his at the time. With the "A&W" name in place, the two began franchising their concept (with the addition of a food menu), becoming America's first franchised restaurant chain. The chain continued to grow over the next several decades, expanding throughout the west and midwest.
Throughout World War II, the A&W franchise remained successful despite a government sugar ration and shortage of employees. But after the war, A&W® Restaurants really flourished. Returning WWII veterans, with the aid of G.I. Bill loans began franchising their own A&W Restaurants, helping to triple the number of restaurants across the coutnry. These veterans were crucial in the growth and success of the restaurant chain, as many of these original franchises continue to operate today.