Longtime A&W franchisee Julie Glenz brings experience, perspective to franchisee-run NAWFA board

The Glenz family stands in an A&W restaurant next to a life-size figure of the A&W mascot, Rooty the Great Root Bear.

The Glenz family

With restaurants in Albany and Richmond, Minnesota, Julie Glenz has been an A&W franchisee since 2001. She has only been on the board of NAWFA (National A&W Franchisees Association) since March, but she’s bringing all her experience with her.

She and the rest of the panel of elected representatives have a big responsibility, meeting regularly to review all of the decisions that go into making a successful franchise. Recently, the NAWFA board was working with A&W’s marketing department to hammer out a final design for new menu boards, a key part of the strategy to support the restaurant franchise’s booming drive-thru sales.

“The board members are from all over the U.S., so everybody has their own unique perspective, that little bit of information that is different from California to Minnesota to Florida,” she says. “It kind of is nice to get everybody’s input on things like that. Everybody has good ideas.”

Long history with a legacy brand 

Glenz and her husband, Jeremy, have been franchisees since 2014 officially, with occasional help from their four young boys, ages 7-13. But she grew up in the business, since her late parents first added an A&W restaurant to their gas station when Glenz was graduating from college in 2001.

Today, she and her husband are partners in several bars and restaurants as well, so Glenz happily handles most of the responsibilities at their A&W franchises. Being involved, being able to recognize her many repeat customers and greet them when they come into the dining room, is one of the most rewarding things about owning an A&W.

“I love interacting with all the customers and just seeing the happy faces when people come in and either it’s, ‘Oh, I haven’t been to A&W in forever’ or the kids getting a Root Beer Float in a frosted mug,” Glenz says.

Running an A&W franchise

The best person for this franchise, says Glenz, is someone who is passionate about and motivated, but more importantly someone who is eager to be involved. More than the financial requirements ($350,000 net worth, $150,000 liquidity), that’s the franchise candidate who will be a good culture fit.

As for the best reason for that candidate to invest in A&W?

Obviously, our longevity and our AUV are two great reasons to invest. But there are intangibles as well.

“I feel like we’re a little family,” says Glenz. “We’re not so big that you don’t know everybody. You can go to anybody here. If I have a question, I can ask CEO Kevin Bazner and he will totally get back to me. Or I can ask our franchise growth leader. Everybody is very helpful.”

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