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    A&W Restaurants Continues Push Into Convenience Channel

    Five stores opened this year, six more in development.

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — A&W Restaurants continues to kick its move into the convenience channel into high gear.

    The Lexington-based chain reported opening five new c-store A&W Restaurants so far this year. The new restaurants are located in Barron, Wis.; Tonkawa, Okla.; Dinuba, Calif.; Sigourney, Iowa; and Orbisonia, Pa.

    Under franchisee ownership, the company also has six more gas station and convenience store locations in the works. These future locations will be in Freemont, Neb.; Bemidji, Minn.; Berkeley and Hayward, Calif.; Salome, Ariz.; and Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

    "Current and new franchisees are expressing their confidence in the A&W brand by signing development agreements, opening restaurants across the country and participating in our system remodeling program," said Kevin Bazner, president and CEO of A&W Restaurants. "It is gratifying that many of our new restaurants are being opened by current franchise partners."

    A&W Restaurants has 30 remodeling projects underway currently, with more than 100 co-branded KFC locations scheduled for remodels in 2017. According to the company, following renovations, A&W Restaurants experience double-digit sales increases.

    To date this year, A&W has opened two traditional restaurants, with five more planned. The company opened 15 new restaurants in 2016.

    A&W, the country's oldest restaurant chain, was previously owned by YUM! Brands for nine years before a core group of franchisees purchased the brand five years ago. There are currently 634 U.S. restaurants and 328 international. So far this year, 22 international A&W locations have opened, primarily in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

    There are more than 1,100 A&W locations worldwide. 

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