November 28, 2016 // Franchising.com // LEXINGTON, Ky. - A&W Restaurants has a new promotion that will heat holiday diners up and cool them down: a new Spicy Papa Burger that perfectly complements chilly Peppermint Treats made with Oreo. The limited-time offer comes as the venerable restaurant brand reports sales that are outpacing the industry and continues to open new locations across the country.
The new Spicy Papa Burger starts with two 100 percent U.S. beef patties totaling one-third pound between a toasted bun with two slices of melted American cheese, tomato, onion and lettuce. For the first time, Spicy Papa Sauce, usually available only with Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, was added along with jalapenos to kick up the flavor.
Work on the Peppermint Treats began in the heat of the summer when A&W asked its social media followers and Mug Club loyalists to help select its 2016 Sweets & Treats holiday flavor. Peppermint Oreo, introduced in 2015 as a shake, garnered the greatest number of votes. For this year, a new soft-serve Peppermint Polar Swirl made with Oreo was added.
“Guests really like how we have taken our ‘All American Food’ menu and improved both its quality and flavors,” said Sarah Blasi, director of Marketing. “This limited-time offer is a great example of how we are rebuilding the A&W brand by giving familiar, favorite foods fresh, contemporary tastes.”
Since its franchise partners acquired A&W from YUM! Brands, Inc. in late 2011, the 97-year old restaurant chain – America’s oldest – has seen same-store sales increase system-wide nearly 24%. Culinary innovation and continuous quality improvement are among the key factors, Blasi said.
A&W also is back in growth mode in the U.S., having closed a number of under-performing locations. This year the brand has opened 13 new U.S. restaurants, with two more to come by the end of December. Twenty are planned for next year. A&W currently has approximately 1,100 franchise locations in 10 countries, with more than 600 in the U.S.
Spicy Papa Burger and Peppermint Treats made with Oreo are available at participating A&W locations in the United States through Dec. 25, 2016. Prices vary by location.