A&W Cheddar & Roasted Garlic Uncle Burger® Food Review
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A&W Food Services of Canada, Inc. is a Canadian fast food restaurant chain.
A&W Canada was part of the U.S.-based A&W Restaurants chain, but was sold to Unilever in 1972, and then bought by its management in 1995. It no longer has any corporate connection to A&W operations outside of Canada.
The Canadian operation is owned and operated by the privately held A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., based in North Vancouver, British Columbia. In December 2013, A&W was Canada’s second-largest fast food burger restaurant chain with 800 locations after McDonald’s, which has 1,400 Canadian locations.
A Canadian A&W (in Stratford, Ontario)
The first Canadian A&W restaurant opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1956. The Canadian restaurants were part of the American chain until 1972 when they were sold to Unilever.
In 1975, facing competition from the growing Canadian operations of McDonald’s, the company launched what was to have been a temporary advertising campaign starring an orange-clad mascot, The Great Root Bear. The bear and the tuba jingle that accompanied him became a long-running campaign (the tune, entitled “Ba-Dum, Ba-Dum”, was released as a single by Attic Records, credited to “Major Ursus”, a play on Ursa Major or “great bear”). The mascot was so successful that he was eventually adopted as the mascot by the American A&W chain as well. The famous tuba jingle was played by famed Vancouver jazz, classical and session trombonist Sharman King. King also did the ads for the “Book Warehouse” chain of discount book stores, which he owned.
In the early 1980s, the drive-in style of restaurant was phased out. It was replaced with a modern, pastel-coloured fast food outlet which included marginally healthier options. While the chain continued to open some standalone restaurants, A&W also aggressively pursued shopping mall locations, and as a result A&Ws are still commonly found in Canadian malls of various sizes.