Bring back the ampersand

A&W launches campaign to bring the ampersand back to the alphabet — & here’s why that makes us one of the best restaurant franchises to own

When we launched our “Bring Back the Ampersand” campaign in late January, we knew we’d see some momentum. Halfway through the PR campaign to reintroduce the ampersand to the alphabet — with an official petition for Merriam-Webster and a plea to other ampersanded brands to join our cause — we seem to have made quite an impression.

Overall impressions, in fact, come in at millions. Between our YouTube video, our website, our social media sites, our petition and hundreds of thousands of emails, people everywhere are jumping on our ampersand bandwagon. Brands like H&R Block have chimed in. The press has picked it up, with stories in AdWeek and Food & Wine.

More than POS banners & a Facebook page

Not only is Bring Back the Ampersand a fun campaign, it simultaneously demonstrates both our lighthearted company culture and the serious expertise of our marketing and digital teams. And — or should we say & — yes, that’s the reason this makes us one of the best restaurant franchises to invest in. When we need reach, we know how to get it.

That’s good news for franchisees, who can count on skilled support from our marketing and digital gurus to help promote their restaurants in their communities more effectively and ultimately improve the bottom line.

In the foreground, a man holds a mug with a root beer float. The usual A&W logo on the mug is missing the ampersand symbol. In the out-of-focu background, you can see a milkshake in a branded mug, a burger and fries and a woman in an orange shirt reaching for some fries.

A limited edition mug was intentionally missing the ampersand in our brand name, and a giveaway to spot the omission helped engage customers in a fun way.

Why the &?

First of all, if you haven’t already done so, please visit, sign the petition and share with your friends on social media using the hashtag #BringBackThe&. Secondly, here are a few things you should know about the once-and-possibly-future 27th letter of the alphabet:

  • The ampersand symbol dates back to 45 AD
  • Johannes Gutenberg included it on his first printing press in 1440
  • The word “ampersand” stems from the phrase “and per se and,” which once came after the letter Z in reciting the alphabet

We’re not taking ourselves too seriously with this campaign. However, it did seem like a timely and fun way to bring people together, just like we’ve been doing for 100 years.

Clearly, A&W is a franchise that understands how to have fun. We take our business seriously, but we got into this because we love it. Our brand is owned by our franchisees, and since they took it over in 2011, our sales have increased almost 33% on average. We’re looking for serious investors to come and have fun with us while helping to grow a stable, thriving brand.

Learn more

You can discover more about our franchise opportunity by filling out the form on this page. You can also explore our research pages to learn more about the A&W brand. We look forward to hearing from you!