Experiences grounded in strategy.

How we helped A&W develop the look, feel and customer experience of a new restaurant concept.

What we did

Account Management
Consumer Research
Branded Environment


For nearly 100 years, A&W has remained an All-American icon of a restaurant franchise. But heritage only goes so far. Times change. And no brand simply wants to be known as “old.” The expectations of the modern quick service restaurant consumer have evolved, with an emphasis on quality, authenticity and strong storytelling. So you have be prepared to reinvent yourself responsibly, honoring the tradition and ideals that have made you who you are while finding a new meaning for your brand in the context of the times.

When A&W looked to develop a completely new fast-casual restaurant concept dedicated to premium, fresh burgers cooked-to-order on a grill, hand-breaded chicken tenders and signature Root Beer Floats, we were thrilled to help redefine the restaurant experience for a new audience and a new chapter in the brand’s rich history.


Having recently developed a brand strategic platform centered around “Hip Nostalgia,” we had a definitive vision of how to connect A&W’s past with its future.

A brand, in its simplest terms, is how people perceive and experience your company and product. That’s nothing new. When it comes to an in-person experience, the way an environment makes people feel is equally as important as the product that its serving. So, our challenge was to both tell the story of A&W’s rich past while defining its future in environment design and customer experience.


A&W is a place to make memories, a place for a celebrations and good times. So, we wanted an environment that captured the fun, community-minded nature of the brand’s past, balanced with a new sense of cool. Refashioning the old to feel new.

While we don’t fancy ourselves interior designers by trade, we believe a strong strategic brand foundation can drive any decision, no matter the application or medium. In this case, it meant bringing our brand concept of “hip nostalgia” to life in a store atmosphere. Working hand-in-hand with A&W’s marketing, operations and franchise development teams, we helped define the aesthetic and restaurant experience of the completely new store concept, soup to nuts.



Interior textures, materials, customer experience, point-of-sale, exterior design…we had a hand in nearly every decision made in the space. It’s a testament to believing in your brand and blurring the lines between your operational efforts and your branding efforts. Because in the end, they truly are one in the same.

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Email jdeaver@teamcornett.com