In early 2016, my bud Rev connected me with Liz Bazner (A&W’s Digital Manager) when I was in midst of prepping for the opening of my Burger Museum (now open in Miami, Florida). One of our email conversations included an open invitation to A&W HQ if I was ever in the area.
Now, A&W Corporate Headquarters is located in Lexington, Kentucky which is at minimum a 4 hour airplane flight or a 15 hour drive away. Since I normally do 2 to 3 road trips a year, I decided that we would be visiting Lexington in 2017.
Flash forward to my April 2017 Road Trip which of course includes a stop in Lexington, a city which I now absolutely love.
The A&W Restaurant offices are located on the 3rd floor of the building. We had walked right past the A&W Test Kitchen on the 1st floor when we walked into the building and I was hoping we might get a chance to see it at some point.
We sat in a conference room with Liz where talked about A&W, its history and where the company is headed. A&W’s VP of Restaurant Support Services Bill Fry dropped in for a bit to chat also and at one point suggested I try the healthy option on their menu, the Corn Dog Nuggets which were are made with Turkey (I did later and they were great. I was popping them like tic tacs). What a character that Bill.
Liz then gave us a tour of the offices and all the historical items that decorate it plus we met some of the employees along the way.
A&W also donated a basket of items to me including a mug from 1941 which is now on display at the Burger Museum, thank you to them for that.
After the tour of the 3rd floor we made our way back to the 1st floor to see the Test Kitchen.
The Test Kitchen Kitchen is attached to a much larger conference type area with again, more A&W artifacts on display. We lucked in that they were about to test some new flavor toppings/seasonings for their French Fries.
After sampling a bunch, I remembered that we were headed to one on their new concept stores (A&W Burgers Chicken Floats) for lunch after the Test Kitchen visit. In other words, I needed to take it easy.
So we said our goodbyes and jumped into the A&W Mobile for a short ride to the restaurant.
Just kidding, we (My wife Marcela, one of my best friends John) jumped into our rental vehicle and headed over to see if the restaurant’s food is as great as the A&W Corporate Office and its people.
To be continued…..A&W Burgers Chicken Floats