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SamC
03-12-2002, 08:26 PM
Tricon Global Restaurants, which is the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains that used to be owned by Pepsi, is in a buying mode.

Pepsi had acquired the three restaurants in the 70s and Coke salesmen used #2's ownership against it (why sell Pepsi when they are competing with you?). This led to about a 90-10 Coke to Pepsi ratio in mom and pop Italian and Mexican restaurants by 1995. Pepsi finally spun the division off in the late 90s, retaining a 20% ownership.

Tricon has bought the A&W and Long John Silver's chians, and plans to rebrand almost half of its Taco Bell outlets as combinations with one or the other. It is in the market to buy many more chains, including several smaller burger chains.

It also announced it was changing its name to YUM, Inc.

Look for Pepsi in the fountains at both chains within a few months. Note that the A&W restaurant chain is totally seperate from the A&W root beer product and will continue to serve the root beer.

JMcC
03-12-2002, 10:49 PM
Mmmm,

I was wondering about the A&W thing. There is some historical association between the drink and the restaurant - A&W restaurants were originally pop stands, I believe, and then started to sell food.
A&W brand is now owned by Cadbury Schweppes, owners of DPSU.
I'm not so sure that A&W will continue to sell its eponymous root beer. It's entirely possible that YUM will take the outrageous step of delisting it and starting to sell Mug. The reason I say this is that COke went to the trouble of buying Barq's and forcing A&W out of every fountain it could manage in the late 1990s. the name and history of the restaurant won't stop Pepsi/YUM if they're looking to do the same.
That would prove once and for all that the consumer matters for nought in the eyes of the large corporation.

sodasommelier
03-13-2002, 02:13 AM
It is just amazing how these buyouts keep destroying good things. I'm not so big on A&W Root Beer but hey, an A&W selling Mug? Good reason to absolutely never spend another cent at A&W. Why should the consumer cow-tow to the whims of these megas who don't give a &#$( about the consumer? Vote with your wallet; give not another cent.

By the way, YUM is also a store in San Francisco which sells all sorts of great stuff including Mexican Pepsi!!!!!

Rootbear1
11-05-2004, 11:18 AM
Boy, what a lot of mis-information in this thread. I work for A&W Restaurants, now owned by Yum! Brands. A&W is the oldest franchised chain in the country (85 years old this year). The can and bottle side and the restaurant side used to be one company up until the early '80s when United Brands broke them up and sold the restaurant company to Al Taubman (billionare mall developer) and the retail beverage side to Lew Lowenkron. That split resulted in a lawsuit that was settled with the trademark being owned by the beverage company and exclusive fountain pouring rights being granted in perpetuity to the restaurant side in an iron clad contract. This means as long as there is at least one A&W restaurant in the US, the current owner of the beverage company must produce and sell fountain A&W exclusive to the owner (and it's franchisees) of the restaurant company. The flip side is that the restaurants must buy the fountain product from the owner of the beverage company (under a special pricing contract). Additionally a few other facts:
1. The fountain formula is different than can and bottle. Cadbury/DPSU can't change without A&W Restaurants, Inc. permission.
2. The restaurants use bottler's grade cane sugar (C&H - the best) in their version while the retail product on the grocery store shelves is all HFCS.
3. Yum! bought A&W to build more stores (there are ~1300 in 9 countries right now, not including ~500 in Canada that operate independent of the rest of the brand. One of the reasons they bought them is that the A&W Restaurants has one of the highest beverage incidence rates in the industry, and it's all in those frosted mugs of A&W root beer.

Robot
11-05-2004, 01:59 PM
I must confess, the root beer in A&W stores is amazing stuff... best root beer out.

Rootbear1
11-05-2004, 04:39 PM
Thanks, I'm pretty partial to it too. One other bit of trivia, the restaurants use a proprietary low pressure pre-mix dispensing system (costs ~$7k) instead of your typical post mix system. That coupled with a 36 degree serving temp into a chilled mug gives A&W the thick creamy head of foam that the product is famous for.

Shatter
11-06-2004, 12:36 AM
I've never had the root beer at an A&W Root Beer restaurant. I just assumed it would be the same HFCS junk as any gas station would have. I guess I need to try it out now.

I stopped at a Frostop Root Beer restaurant in Houma, Louisiana a month or two ago, and their root beer was freakin' incredible. Served in a frozen mug, perfect slushy contrast to my steaming hot Shrimp Burger. They did forget to give me my fries, though. :(