Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can A&W make a comeback in Singapore?

I read weeks ago that Wendy – the Fast Food Restaurant is making waves at Lau Pa Sat. Brought in by the Kopitiam group, it has managed to attract huge crowds every day since opening last December. According to the CNA’s news report, Wendy first came to Singapore in the 80s, locating at Far East Plaza and Parkway Parade. I supposed they retreated due to poor business then?
Demographics and Psychographic have since changes. Singaporeans are much more affluent than they are in the 80s. More people are eating out everyday. Youths have more pocket money and Fast Food has become a daily norm rather than a rare treat. Therefore despite existing fast food restaurants kept expanding at astonishing rate, I still think fast food market in Singapore has not yet reach saturation point, but in fact still expanding.
(Hmmm… why do I feel like I am doing some homework when writing the above para…)

Anyway, Wendy’s successful comeback reminds me of another fast food restaurant that has a special place among Singaporeans and perhaps should make a come-back too. I am referring to old-time favourite A&W!

I mean when Singaporeans visit Malaysia or Batam, immediately the first thing they need to do is to drop by to the nearest A&W restaurant to get their fixes of Coney Dog, Curly Fries and Root Beer float. 
Since it is a must-do for many, why didn’t anyone thought of bringing A&W into Singapore? I actually thought A&W might be able to make it this time around. 
Mascot for A&W – The Great Root Bear!
Similar to Wendy, A&W outlets began to dwindle during the 90s. I had thought they retreated from Singapore in the 90’s but according the the Facebook page “Bring A&W back to SG, the last A&W outlet at Hougang Mall closed in 2003. Hmm… At point of writing this entry, there are about 16 319 members.
Why do I think it will make it? I was at Batam few months ago. Of course, my friends insisted that they had to try A&W before coming back. At the queue, you can almost tell that 90% are Singaporeans from their accent.
An example of A&W set-meal.
Not sure why, but they no longer sell Coney Dogs in Batam outlet. How can that be? Coney Dogs, Root Beer Float are supposed to be the holy trinity of A&W. Why would they take it out of their menu? Is business also not good in Batam too? Would they close their operation down eventually in Batam?
If my memory serves me right, A&W rootbeer float used to be ice-cream instead of soft-serve ice-cream? I could have remembered it wrongly since I seldom eat A&W when they were in Singapore. When I was younger, we seldom fast food. Our family are not that affluent, you see. In any case, I am don’t need extra calories from it. 

Among all the A&W food, I love their curly fries best. I am a sucker for potatoes food stuff especially when they are fried. Of course, I know they are not too good for health. I am trying to avoid them as best as I can. Ironically, like they always say too much of a good thing is actually bad for you.

This is new. I never know A&W sell waffles. They sell waffles (non-sweet kind) with soft-serve ice-cream. I don’t really like it. I prefer waffles that are slightly crispy and temptingly aromatic.

So what are your views? Can A&W make a come-back in Singapore? Do you all miss A&W? Leave me a message under comments.

For those who like to be more vocal, then join the Facebook group - “Bring A&W back to Singapore”. Who knows when there are substantial support or members, some rich business man might just buy the franchise and get them back to Singapore.

*To clarify, Photosophize has no relations with the A&W Facebook group nor A&W. :)

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