Ever tried to use an ampersand in a hashtag? Or a URL? It doesn’t work. We think that’s pretty lame. After all, the ampersand was actually part of the alphabet once upon a time. So as we celebrate our 100th birthday, we at A&W Restaurants are only asking for one thing: bring back the ampersand. It’s utilized by thousands of brands, organizations, bands, films, and publications. It’s a useful, universal symbol of bringing things together. That’s what we’ve been about from the very start, as the country’s first chain of roadside restaurants.

The ampersand dates all the way back to 45 AD and Johannes Gutenberg even included it on his first printing press in 1440. During the 19th century, American schoolchildren were taught to end their ABC’s with “X, Y, Z, and per se and” because the ampersand was indeed the 27th letter. But then it mysteriously and inexplicably disappeared from the alphabet. In this digital world, its exclusion has made all of our lives a little harder. Think about it… is clunky and ugly. Sometimes using a “&” just makes a lot more sense. This isn’t just for us. Think of all the uses of the ampersand out there, and all the people and organizations that could benefit from allowing the ampersand back into our alphabet.

We’re not asking for much. And to be completely honest, we’re not exactly sure who calls the shots on these sorts of things. But we’re out to make change. And we’ll take all the help we can get. We even have a petition going. It’s just another way that we think we can bring people together. Just like we have for 100 years.

A&W Restaurants logo missing the ampersand