Two people toasting with mugs of A&W Root Beer

15 Things You Didn't Know About A&W

June 2019 is when A&W Restaurants celebrates its landmark 100th anniversary. To commemorate a century of good food & good times, we compiled a list of 15 things you probably didn't know about A&W. Which famous singer wrote portions of his hit song at an A&W? How long does it take to make our signature Root Beer? Read on to find out! 


1) A&W is the first American chain restaurant to reach the 100 year milestone.

100th Anniversary Collage

2) Dale Mulder, an A&W franchisee in Lansing, Michigan, created the Bacon Cheeseburger in 1963. Mulder later served as A&W’s president and chairman.

Photo of Dale Mulder

3) In 2018, A&W purchased 679,735 pounds of bacon, serving approximately 13,594,700 slices on its Bacon Cheeseburgers.

Photo of Original Bacon Cheeseburger

4) Roy Allen served the first frosty mug of A&W Root Beer on June 20, 1919 in Lodi, California, during a homecoming parade for WWI veterans. A&W historically has supported veterans since then.

Black and white photo of parade in Lodi, CA.

5) On National Root Beer Float Day, August 6, participating A&W Restaurants serve free small Root Beer Floats, requesting donations for veterans’ groups.

National Root Beer Float Day logo

6) A&W Root Beer is named for partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright.

Black and white photo of Roy Allen and Frank Wright

7) A&W Root Beer (1919) is older than sliced bread (1928).

Photo of sliced bread

8) A&W was the first American quick-service restaurant to open in Malaysia (1963) and Singapore (1966). In 1963, it was the first American hamburger shop to open in Okinawa. Today, there are more than 370 A&Ws in Asia, including Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport.

Photo of A&W Restaurant exterior in Singapore

9) Guests at A&W Restaurants in the U.S. and Asia consume more than 1.1 million gallons of Root Beer a year.

Two people clinking mugs of A&W Root Beer together

10) By serving its Root Beer in reusable glass mugs, A&W Restaurants keep 180 paper cups per mug out of landfills each year. Photo Credit: Ron Holman

A&W Restaurant team member holding tray of food and mugs of A&W Root Beer.

11) The Burger Family personified A&W’s burger offerings in the 1960s and beyond: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger and Baby Burger.

Vintage black and white photo of A&W Burger Family statues on top on A&W Restaurant

12) All associates in A&W’s Lexington, Kentucky headquarters work a shift in a restaurant each quarter. Yes, your burger may have been grilled by the president.

Exterior of A&W Restaurant

13) A&W Root Beer is made fresh in each restaurant. It takes about 45 minutes to prepare.

A&W Root Beer draft arm

14) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Seger wrote portions of “Night Moves” at a Michigan A&W drive-in. The classic hit is among the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll,” according to the museum. Photo Credit: The Detroit News

Photo of Bob Seger record on record player

15) Marriott International began as an A&W franchise in Washington, D.C. during 1927.

Black and white photo of Marriott