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A&W Opens Ontario's First New Urban Concept Restaurant in the Heart of Toronto's Yonge Street

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (TSX: AW.UN) today announced the Grand Opening of its inaugural Ontario location for its new Urban Concept restaurants at 496 Yonge Street on Friday, January 28.

With more and more Canadians living and working in Canada's growing urban centres, this new "urban A&W concept", brings the iconic burger family, frosty mugs of legendary A&W Root Beer™ and a few delicious new urban focussed menu items to a new group of customers.

Friday's grand opening in Toronto is the first in Ontario, on the heels of 4 successful openings, three in downtown Vancouver and one in Calgary.  A&W plans to open additional urban concept restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

"We are excited about this new A&W restaurant concept for our urban customers here in Toronto," said A&W President and CEO Paul Hollands. "We have seen great success with the Vancouver urban locations we opened in the last several months. There has been tremendous growth here in Ontario over the last couple of years with 15 restaurants opening in 2010. We are thrilled to provide A&W's great taste, quality and service to a new generation of busy, fun-loving customers."

Working with one of the most experienced design firms in North America, FRCH from Cincinnati, A&W has created an urban restaurant that is current and relevant for today, a new variation of the classic and popular A&W, designed to appeal to urbanites living or working near the new restaurants. At the same time the heritage and the history of A&W comes through in vibrant orange.

In addition to The Burger Family, A&W's urban restaurants will offer a selection of salads and several new chicken sandwiches, one being a Spicy Chipotle Chicken sandwich; free wi-fi; self-serve ordering kiosks and a significant waste-reduction initiative.

A&W is the first quick service restaurant chain in Canada to offer customers the convenience of self-order kiosks, which were initially introduced on a trial basis at Vancouver's busy airport in 2010.  Located at the front of each restaurant, the kiosks allow customers to use their debit or credit cards to quickly and efficiently place their orders. The new design will also see the menu boards removed from the back wall, and will be placed on the counter with bold photos to facilitate easy ordering for multilingual customers.

As part of a strategic commitment to reduce waste, the new restaurants will feature environmentally conscious packaging such as reusable French fry baskets and smaller food wrappers, reusable frosted mugs, china plates and stainless steel cutlery instead of paper or plastic — and energy conservation measures. As a result, the average urban restaurant will reduce its consumer paper waste by over 5,000 lbs per year. Advanced exhaust equipment will reduce power and gas usage by 30% and new Energy Star fryers will provide an additional 45% reduction.

A&W is focused on a rapid restaurant expansion plan for the urban concept, with locations planned between Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary this year.

"We are thrilled with the response to this new concept. Urban consumers have told us they are enjoying the great taste of A&W Teen Burgers™ in a fun and convenient setting. We continue to scout for great, convenient locations in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto," said Rob Fussey, Director Urban Concept Development.

Since its founding as Canada's first drive-in chain in Winnipeg in 1956, A&W has continually re-invented itself to meeting Canadian's changing lifestyles while providing fond memories and great food for Baby Boomers and their families.

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is 100 per cent Canadian owned and is one of the strongest brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry. A&W is the nation's second largest hamburger chain with more than 730 locations coast-to-coast. A&W Restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family®, Teen Burger ® Chubby Chicken®, and A&W Root Beer®. For more information, please visit www.aw.ca.

For further information:

Alex Chapple
604-739-7500 or C:  604-512-6095


Karen Cook   
604-739-7500 or C:  604-551-9074