By Dave Crowley, Director of Franchise Recruitment
One of the best parts of my job is hearing how prospective franchisees fell in love with A&W. Everyone has a story. And I’ve been listening to a lot of stories lately.
The common thread is memories and personal experiences they want to share with a new generation of A&W fans. They want to introduce – or maybe bring back – to their communities the best Root Beer in the country, the tastiest Cheese Curds this side of Wisconsin and a Bacon Cheeseburger second to none.
Eddie Khoury, one of our newest multi-unit franchisees, shared such a story. Currently, Eddie is busy working on his first free-standing A&W with a drive-thru in Lafayette, Louisiana. It will be part of a nine-acre shopping center he is developing from the ground up. He plans to open two other A&Ws in the area.
Here’s Eddie’s story, in his own words.
My name is Eddie Khoury, and I’ve been in the restaurant/retail business for over 30 years now. I currently own and operate CC’s Coffee Houses, convenience stores with Zeus Express inside, Zeus/Subway restaurants, Pont des Mouton Plaza, and Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina.
I travel often, and while doing so, I came across A&W. I loved the concept and enjoyed my experience each time I visited. A&W provides the perfect American comfort food, while also being fast and convenient. I believe A&W will be a great addition to the dining options in Lafayette. The brand speaks for itself.
What appealed to you most about the A&W brand vs. another brand?
In the restaurant industry, you need to be a little bit different to stand out, and A&W is something different. Its Root Beer is a well-recognized name, and I was surprised the chain wasn’t already in Louisiana.
When I talked about opening an A&W here, I kept hearing stories about “my grandparents used to take me,” or “my parents took us.” The brand has recognition, and I liked that it was something unique.
Everyone and anyone can build a restaurant, but building a successful restaurant is another thing. I want grandparents, parents and kids to have the A&W experience.
What were the most important factors in your decision making?
I am entrepreneurial by nature. I’m always looking for new opportunities that sit outside the box or fill a niche. I like something that’s a bit different, and that’s A&W.
Take us back to your Discovery Day. What did you like most about your visit to the Support Center?
I loved the attitude, and it felt like a great work environment. The entire team spoke with passion about the brand, and it gave me a good vibe. I liked that employees were loyal to the brand, and the numbers made sense financially.
I’ve been to Discovery Days with other brands, where there was an uptight feeling. At A&W, I thought, “These are easy people to work with.” I’m a creative thinker with a vision. I felt A&W would be receptive to my ideas, allowing us to grow together.
What did you take away from your visit to the Richmond (Kentucky) Restaurant and Learning Center?
I was surprised by the whole environment. I could take a family there, and everyone could get something different. The food was really great, and it caters to all tastes, young and old.
The manager was great, too. And I liked that he had been with the brand for a long time.
I loved the draft arm – it made the Root Beer a neat experience in itself. When I returned home, that’s all I could talk about.
What motivated you to sign a multi-unit agreement with A&W?
I didn’t want to bring the brand into Lafayette, build a store, and then have someone else take my territory.
Join us in welcoming Eddie to the A&W Restaurants family!