Going Back In Time To The First Chain Restaurant In America


Have you ever wondered what was the very first chain restaurant in the United States? There are so many to choose from that have been around for decades. However, it was A&W that was the very first, which opened in 1919 and still remains popular today. White Castle is technically the first fast-food chain but A&W holds the title for the first restaurant chain.

A&W restaurants actually began as a roadside stand selling its iconic root beer. Eventually, they began opening brick-and-mortar locations and selling food. Now, it is known for its hot dogs, hamburgers, and of course, root beer floats.

A&W was the very first chain restaurant in America

By 1971, A&W began selling its root beer in cans and bottles so consumers could enjoy it outside of going to the restaurant. Many of the locations offer a drive-up spot to order and eat in. Even with the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic closures, most A&W locations seemed to have made it through okay.

Reportedly, the brand is as popular as its ever been and they are now offering food and drinks in airports, stadiums, theme parks, and more. With over 100 years of business under its belt, it doesn’t seem like A&W is going anywhere!

Jack Palumbo, senior director of franchise development, shared about the addition of the food in new locations, “The brand is as popular as it’s ever been,” and so, “It just seemed like it was a really good time to capitalize on that.” Do you enjoy eating at A&W? Do you remember going to one for the very first time? If so, what year was it? Let us know in the comments!


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