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A&W Urban Concept Restaurant Arrives in Québec: Inaugural Restaurant Opens in Downtown Montréal


MONTREAL, May 26, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's iconic burger place reached another milestone today. A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (TSX: AW.UN) opened this morning its inaugural Québec location for its new Urban Concept restaurant in downtown Montréal at 1550 de Maisonneuve West, near Concordia University. A&W's legendary line of burgers will now be available to customers who live, work and study in the downtown urban core of Canada's second largest city.

The new restaurant on de Maisonneuve West is owned and operated by Jean Boisvert, one of A&W's longest serving and most successful franchised operators in Montreal. This is Mr. Boisvert's third A&W restaurant.

With over 700 quick service restaurants across the country most Canadians enjoy A&W's great burgers in traditional suburban settings. However, more and more Canadians, especially Montréalers are living and working in Canada's fast growing downtown urban centres. This highly innovative evolution of the traditional A&W offering 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.

"We are excited to present this new A&W restaurant concept for our urban customers here in Montréal," said A&W President and CEO Paul Hollands. "This is a major innovation for A&W, and with the strength and the vibrancy of Montreal as a major urban centre we are delighted to open the first of our new prototypes here. More importantly we are very excited about the large number of opportunities to build these new urban restaurants in Montreal, bringing A&W's great tasting burgers, to a new generation of busy, and hungry customers in a truly industry leading restaurant design."

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. Today's opening in Montréal follows successful openings in downtown Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

"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 look forward to hearing back from our urbanite customers in Montréal as we continue to scout for great, convenient locations," said Rob Fussey, Director Urban Concept Development.

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.

Unique self-order kiosks
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 place their orders and bypass the ordering line up. These have proven to be a big hit.

Our commitment to the environment
As part of a strategic commitment to reduce waste, the new restaurants will feature environmentally conscious packaging such as reusable French fry baskets, reusable frosted mugs, china plates and stainless steel cutlery instead of paper or plastic — and energy conservation measures. The amount of disposable packaging has also been dramatically reduced. As a result, the average urban restaurant will reduce its consumer paper waste by over 6,000-7,000 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 Quebec's second largest hamburger chain, with 87 A&W restaurants in the province. 17 are on the island of Montréal and 22 are in the Greater Montréal Area. The first A&W urban restaurant in Montréal near Concordia University will be the 18th A&W restaurant on the Island of Montréal.

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.

A&W launched its new Québec franchise website today at www.awfranchise.ca

For further information:

Paula Bernardino / Valérie Ladouceur
Massy-Forget Public Relations
514 842-2455, ext. 21 / 15
pbernardino@mfrp.com /  vladouceur@mfrp.com