A&W was in Singapore in 1966
A&W, short for Allen & Wright, is a well-loved American fast-food chain that has a deep history in Singapore. The brand was first introduced in Singapore in 1966, marking it as one of the earliest fast-food chains to set foot in the country, long before giants like McDonald's and KFC made their foray into the Singapore market.
The first A&W restaurant in Singapore was located at MSA (Malayan Airways Limited, now Singapore Airlines) Building along Robinson Road. Its arrival brought American fast-food culture to the city-state and was met with excitement and curiosity. The menu offered classics like Coney Dogs, burgers, and the iconic root beer float served in frosty mugs.
The 1980s was the golden age of A&W in Singapore. The chain expanded its operations, setting up outlets in various parts of the city. Some of the popular outlets were located at Liat Towers and Parkway Parade. A&W even had a drive-through outlet in Dunearn Road, a novelty back then.
However, despite its initial success, A&W faced increased competition as more international fast-food chains made their entrance into Singapore. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the chain experienced a decline. By 2003, faced with operational challenges and dwindling sales, A&W eventually made the decision to exit the Singapore market, closing its last outlet at the Singapore Zoo.
The brand's departure left fans longing for their favorite treats, and for years, there was constant speculation and anticipation about A&W's return to Singapore.
Finally, after a 16-year hiatus, A&W announced its comeback in 2018. It opened its first new outlet at Jewel Changi Airport in April 2019, drawing large crowds of Singaporeans eager to relive their nostalgia for A&W's signature dishes.
The revival was a strategic move by A&W as part of its global expansion plan and the fast food chain's 100th anniversary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, A&W continues to operate in Singapore, reconnecting with its old fanbase while attracting a new generation of Singaporeans eager to experience its unique offerings.