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A&W Canada opens its 200th restaurant in Ontario, celebrating rapid growth in the East

A&W is the fastest growing burger restaurant in Ontario with 20 new restaurants opening since the beginning of 2013

VANCOUVER, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is celebrating the opening of its 200th restaurant in Ontario. This new "Urban Concept" A&W restaurant, located in downtown Toronto at the corner of Pape and Danforth, is opening with much anticipation and fanfare, as customers line up down the street for the taste of a delicious Teen Burger®, hand-made onion rings, and famous A&W Root Beer®.

"Several years ago, we committed to strategically accelerate our pace of expansion in Ontario and Quebec," says Paul Hollands, President and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.  "Last year we opened 16 new restaurants in Ontario, and we are delighted to open our 200th this week, right here in the heart of Toronto. I am also delighted that we will be opening three restaurants in Ontario over the next seven days, as our pace of growth continues to accelerate."

New, highly contemporary Urban Concept A&Ws are being aggressively developed in downtown urban settings. They feature Wi-Fi and self-order kiosks for a new generation of A&W Burger Family® lovers. A&W has opened Urban Concept restaurants in large cities across Canada, including five in Toronto.

A&W Canada, the second largest burger restaurant franchise in Canada with more than 800 restaurants across the country, has traditionally had a stronghold in Western Canada, but is rapidly expanding across Canada with 200 restaurants already in Ontario and more than 100 in Quebec. In 2013, an industry-leading 37 new A&W locations opened nationally, including 16 in Ontario, the company's fastest growing region.

This year, another 35 to 40 restaurants are forecast to open across Canada. Since A&W began offering multi-site development agreements to current and new development partners in Ontario and Quebec, the demand has been so strong that now only select opportunities are still available in the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec. Strong growth can be attributed to the company's solid development plan, and its wide range of restaurant designs, including free standing restaurants with drive thru, the innovative Urban Concept, and the highly successful locations paired with gas and convenience store retailers. The well-recognized A&W brand name, the quality of its food, and its team of passionate people are also key factors driving the growth.

"We are seeing growing demand for the quality we offer with our legendary Burger Family®," says Hollands. "Customers are responding positively to A&W Canada being the first national burger restaurant to offer beef raised without the use of hormones or steroids from ranches that are at the leading edge of sustainable and ethical practices."

Canadians have demonstrated a growing interest in where their beef comes from and how it is raised, and A&W burger lovers have responded enthusiastically. As such, same store sales grew 3.1% in the last quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter the previous year.

A&W Canada has maintained its Platinum status among Canada's Best Managed Companies, having been honoured with the Best Managed designation for 11 consecutive years. One of the key drivers behind A&W's excellence is the commitment to building a powerful organizational Climate. Founded on the principles of trust and mutual respect, the seven A&W Climate Goals have enabled A&W to build an extraordinarily high performing organization.

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is the nation's second largest hamburger restaurant company with more than 800 locations coast-to-coast. A&W Food Services of Canada is 100 per cent Canadian owned and is one of the strongest brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry. A&W Restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family®, Chubby Chicken® and A&W Root Beer®. For more information, please visit www.aw.ca.

SOURCE A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

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Brenda Jones

Karen Cook