Hometown goodness—that’s what you might think of when you visit a A&W Restaurant, aka the oldest fast food chain in the world. In fact, it’s the first American chain restaurant to reach the 100 year milestone!

But besides how far they date back—oh, and their bubbly root beer floats—you may not know much about this chain. What else could there possibly be to know about A&W? Plenty! Here are 7 surprising facts.

  1. The man who created the bacon cheeseburger later served as A&W’s president and chairman. His name was Dale Mulder and he was an A&W franchisee in Lansing, Michigan.
  2. A&W are fully and publicly in support of veterans. In fact, Roy Allen, one of the chain’s partners, served the very first A&W Root Beer during a homecoming parade for WWI veterans in 1919.
  3. Speaking of Roy Allen, that’s partly where the name A&W came from. It’s name partly for him and for the other partner of A&W Root Beer, Frank Wright.
  4. Root beer is always served in reusable mugs, which means the restaurant is able to keep 180 paper cups per mug out of landfills each year. Oh, and they probably taste better than if they were in paper or plastic mugs.
  5. All of the executive associates who work in in A&W’s Lexington, Kentucky headquarters always make sure they work one restaurant shift each quarter.
  6. A&W opened a location in Malaysia in 1963 and Singapore in 1966—it was the first American fast-food restaurant to ever open there. That number has since increased into the many hundreds!
  7. The root beer is ALWAYS made fresh—each batch takes about 45 minutes to prepare. Imagine how many minutes that adds up to!

Did you know these facts about A&W Restaurant? What else do you know about the old chain?