This article will present you four restaurant chains that stood the test of time. They will be a source of inspiration. This is why building a brand is so important. If you create a brand, you could just sell your brand and get good returns. A brand is easier to recover from downfall, or it isn’t? Let us know what you think in comments.

A&W Root Beer

A root beer brand, A&W Root Beer is present mainly in the United States and Canada. Roy W. Allen opened his first root beer stand in June 1919, at 13 Pine Street in Lodi, California, and started it. Arguably it was the first successful food-franchise implementation in history. In 1922, Allen partnered with Frank Wright. They used their initials to create the brand “A&W”.

During World War II, its franchises had great problems of labor scarcity and sugar rationing. But after war, GI loans helped in the company’s growth. Further, United Fruit Company bought it in 1963, and sold it again in 1982. In October 1993, known as A&W Beverages, it was folded into Cadbury Beverages. Finally, in December 2011, A&W was bought yet again and their world headquarters shifted back to Lexington, Kentucky.



Based in Canton, Massachusetts, it is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, brothers-in-law, founded it in 1945 in Glendale, California. Initially, it started as separate ventures of Burt Baskin who owned Burton’s Ice Cream Shop, opened in 1945 and Irv Robbins’s Snowbird Ice Cream, opened 1946.

In 1949, Burt and Irv decided to sell the stores to their managers. Further in 1953, they hired Carson-Roberts Advertising who recommended to adopt the number 31, the pink and brown polka-dots, and the typeface that suggested of the circus. Especially relevant, the brand is famous for the “31 flavors” slogan that stands for the idea that a customer could have a different flavour every day in any month. In 1967 the United Brands Company acquired it and in 1972, the company went public. Furthermore, in 1973, J. Lyons and Co. bought it and after a number of mergers, today Baskin-Robbins is nearly 100% franchised. Additionally, it struggled in the early years of the 2000s when several newer competitors came good.


Burger King

BK, or Burger King, is an American global chain of fast food restaurants, mainly known for hamburgers, and headquartered in the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The company, founded as Insta-Burger King, in Jacksonville in 1953, was initially a Florida-based restaurant chain. Then Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954. Then its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton and James McLamore purchased the company renaming it as Burger King. They sold it to the Pillsbury Company in 1967 which restructured it in 1970’s and 80’s and led aggressive ad campaigns attacking the competitors. Over the next fifty years, the company changed hands four times. Its third group of owners – a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners – took it public in 2002.

It had continuing image problems and ineffectual advertising programs after the 80’s. Nevertheless, they adopted a new design format called 20/20 in 2000’s that revamped the company. But the financial crisis of 2007–2010 weakened it substantially. In 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a controlling stake promptly started restructuring the company again to reverse its fortunes. 3G, with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged it with Tim Hortons, a Canada-based doughnut chain, under a new parent company called Restaurant Brands International.



Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is a fast-food restaurant chain and specialises in fried chicken. It has its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, US. KFC is at present the world’s second largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s based on sales value.

It was founded by an entrepreneur Harland Sanders. Sanders started as selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. He identified the potential of franchise concept for restaurants and started the first “KFC franchise” in Utah in 1952. Eventually, KFC popularized chicken very much in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the existing domination of the hamburger by established brands. Advertising played a key role in its growth and by 1976 it was among the largest advertisers in the U.S. people place an average 250 orders everyday at a KFC outlet today.