VANCOUVER — A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is taking further leaps towards national expansion in 2017 by opening its first-ever Urban Franchise Associate Restaurant in addition to launching more franchise opportunities.
The QSR currently has more than 860 restaurants across the nation and is Canada’s second-largest burger chain. Since the company already has a solid footprint in Western Canada, it’s focusing its recent expansion plans on Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
Later this month, A&W will award its first Urban Franchise Associate Restaurant — a unique turnkey opportunity introduced in 2016 for young entrepreneurs to learn the business and run their own urban restaurant with an initial investment of $125,000 to $150,000.
Barmil Mallhi has joined A&W as the company’s first Urban Franchise Associate, and will open her first restaurant, in downtown Toronto, on Feb. 23. Mallhi moved to Toronto from Winnipeg and brings with her many years of experience in the retail and foodservice sectors.
“I always wanted to run my own business,” Mallhi says. “I love food and working with people, so a restaurant just made sense. When I began looking at all the opportunities that are out there, A&W appealed most to me. The Urban Franchise Associate program afforded me the opportunity to get into the business with a lower investment and robust training program and it was the right move for me.”
Furthermore, A&W is launching a new franchise model created specifically for small business owners operating in smaller communities, and catering more to families.
“When we launched A&W’s Urban Franchise Associate program in 2016, we saw tremendous interest from potential franchisees — particularly women and families, seeking business opportunities in communities that cater to family life,” says Susan Senecal, president and COO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. “The many vibrant small towns in Ontario and Quebec offer a unique opportunity for a special restaurant program for smaller markets.”
A&W’s small-town franchise model requires a lower investment than a standard franchise and is therefore more accessible to families living in smaller communities. The company is currently working to finalize the concept with more information to come soon.