News & Events

Summit Biosciences Retained to Develop and Supply AT-301 Nasal Spray for Clinical Study


 
On May 28th, 2020, Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. announced their second COVID-19 therapeutic development program, AT-301 Nasal Spray. Summit Biosciences, located on the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus was retained to develop and produce a clinical supply of pre-filled nasal spray products in multi-dose devices containing AT-301.
 
Summit Biosciences LogoAT-301 is Atossa’s proprietary formula intended for nasal administration in patients immediately following a diagnosis of COVID-19 but who have not yet exhibited symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization. 
The next steps with the program include the designing and manufacturing of the clinical trial materials and the active pharmaceutical ingredients in AT-301 followed by adequate and well-controlled studies to demonstrate safety and efficacy. These studies must be successfully completed, and regulatory approvals must be obtained before AT-301 may be commercialized. Atossa has filed provisional patent applications on AT-301 to treat patients diagnosed with, or to prevent, COVID-19 via nasal spray and intends to apply to the FDA as soon as possible so that human clinical trials may be commenced in the third quarter of 2020.
 
Founded in 2009, Summit Biosciences (www.summitbiosciences.com) is a specialized pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing generic and innovative nasal spray medicines. Summit Biosciences collaborates on the development of products with their clients and manufacturers at commercial scale for the US and European markets.
 
Atossa Therapeutics, Inc (www.atossatherapeutics.com) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company seeking to discover and develop innovative medicines in areas of significant unmet medical need with a current focus on breast cancer and COVID-19.
 

Contact: 
Summit Biosciences, Inc. 
UK Coldstream Research Campus
1513 Bull Lea Rd
Lexington, KY 40511  
Tel: 859-254-0180
 

Contact:
Atossa Therapeutics, Inc.
Kyle Guse, CFO and General Counsel
Office: (866) 893-4927

kyle.guse@atossainc.com

UK Board Approves Lease Between Coldstream, Cityscape to Develop Residential Village


On May 5, 2020 the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees authorized the UK Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration to negotiate and execute a ground lease with Cityscape Residential, LCC, a real estate development and construction firm.

Cityscape will lease land from the university for a residential village development project on UK’s Coldstream Research Campus. The 13-acre development will include approximately 250 multi-family residential units. Cityscape will construct and operate the residential village, complying with Coldstream’s design guidelines within its land lease contract.

Coldstream Campus Sign “Multi-family housing will allow for the creation of a dynamic live-work-play-learn environment by providing the social infrastructure necessary to drive the development of office and research and development facilities,” said George Ward, executive director of Coldstream Research Campus. “We are excited to be working with Cityscape and look forward to the development of this project.”

The university first issued a request for proposals (RFP) in March 2018, and selected Indianapolis-based Cityscape based on their award-winning luxury multi-family rental communities.

“Cityscape was honored to be selected during the RFP process and looks forward to the potential of breaking ground later this year,”  said Brian Evans, vice president of Cityscape Residential. “With a 30-year track record developing several billion dollars of luxury rental apartment communities throughout the middle U.S., we hope to soon become a landmark community within the Lexington area.” 

Cityscape Residential is a full-service real estate development and construction firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The principals of Cityscape have been responsible for the successful development and/or financing of over $2 billion of real estate throughout the eastern two-thirds of the United States during their careers and have been responsible for the development and construction of several thousand for-sale and rental residential units across multiple market areas. 

The firm brings an especially strong background to the innovative design and construction of high-density multifamily communities, leveraging a deep base of in-house construction experience among its partners and associates.  Principals in Cityscape are trained and have practiced in the fields of architecture, urban planning, accounting and construction management and have served as senior executives at firms ranging from small entrepreneurial partnerships to large, public, NYSE-listed companies.   

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

UK Board Approves Construction of $15 Million Coldstream Research Lab to Support Early Stage, High-Tech Companies


Coldstream Brick Sign

The Board of Trustees approved construction of the facility at its meeting today, along with the authorization for the university to create a public-private partnership with a developer to construct and own the building. Kentucky Technology, Inc. (KTI), a subsidiary of the UK Research Foundation, will master lease 20,000 square feet of the new building’s estimated 40,000 square feet. KTI plans to sublease its space to appropriate high-tech companies.

George Ward, executive director of the Coldstream Research Campus, says the building will fill a facilities gap between small labs leased to companies in UK's Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC) building, and larger facilities used by established companies at Coldstream and other locations in the state.

"The new research building at Coldstream will enable growing high-tech companies, many housed in UK's ASTeCC building, to continue their research and business expansion," Ward said. "There is a very small inventory of available laboratory space for these growing companies currently, and by providing this facility at Coldstream, Lexington will benefit from the well-paying jobs these companies are creating."

The new facility will be constructed to meet Coldstream's design guidelines, and will house wet labs, offices and flex space for the early stage companies. In alignment with UK's new Economic Development Collaborative, the project supports companies growing at ASTeCC and other places as a landing spot for continued growth, providing an environment where they can commercialize their products and services.

The project was authorized by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly and will be funded by the developer. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2022.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

 

University of Kentucky MBA student Elizabeth "Liz" Bazner promoted to Director of Digital at A&W Restaurants


A&W Restaurants headquarters, located on the Coldstream Research Campus has a Wildcat in their office…
University of Kentucky MBA student at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, Elizabeth "Liz" Bazner, has recently been promoted to the Director of Digital at A&W Restaurants, Inc. with headquarters in Lexington, KY. A&W is one of the best-known restaurants and was America’s first franchised restaurant chain. In 2018, A&W was named #4 on Time magazine’s list of America’s best fast-food chains. In this role, Liz will oversee A&W's national digital media buys and digital strategy while strengthening their email marketing program, local digital strategy and engagement with consumers online.
 
Rooty the bear "I'm very excited for this opportunity which will increase both my responsibilities and the size of my team," says Liz. "We've spent the last few years putting a really solid foundation together and now we're ready to expand to maintain a really strong brand presence online, as well as offering best in class marketing support to our franchisees." 
Liz has held several leadership roles since joining A&W in 2012 including Senior Digital Manager, Digital Manager, Associate Manager of Digital Communications, Social & Digital Communications Strategist and now the Director of Digital. Over the past 8 years, Liz and her team have enjoyed some great successes at A&W. 
"A&W Restaurants turned 100 in 2019, making it the first restaurant chain to reach a centennial, so it was a big year all around," says Liz. "We were named both a top Food Franchise and a top Franchise overall by Franchise Business Review, which is based on feedback from our actual franchisees, so we were all really proud to be a part of that success. A&W was also rated highest in consumer sentiment for QSR brands on social media platforms, winning over brands with much bigger teams and exponentially larger budgets, which was really gratifying."
 
While working full-time at A&W, Liz decided to enroll in Gatton's part-time Professional MBA program designed for the full-time working professional. The Professional MBA brings together a diverse network of working professionals and executives from various industries such as engineering, law, healthcare, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, technology, banking/finance, government and more. 
 
"After working in the brand marketing field for a number of years, I wanted to be able to increase my value to the company by increasing my strategic thinking capabilities and filling in my knowledge gaps." says Liz. "UK's Professional MBA was a great choice for me because it allowed me to stay local, provided a schedule that was flexible enough to allow me to keep working full time and is also affordable. It's been great to work in groups with professionals outside of my industry, which is not something that I do on a regular basis. Learning how to apply an iterative process to my projects at A&W has helped my productivity, but also my ability to articulate ideas and the reason behind them more concisely."
 
In 2019, Gatton launched the new Real-Time, Online MBA option which allows candidates enrolled in the Professional MBA to access the program 100% online, in the classroom or a combination of both. 
"UK has a ton of resources available for their graduate students, including professional certifications, lunch and learns and networking events," says Liz. "I think the students who excel in the program are the ones who have dedicated themselves fully to taking advantage of every opportunity available, both in and out of the classroom. Getting your MBA is challenging but well worth the time and investment."
 
Liz graduated from Vanderbilt University with her degree Political Science and Public Policy in 2006. She joined the Professional MBA program at the Gatton College of Business and Economics in 2018 and will be graduating in 2020. 
 
A&W Restaurants, Inc., America’s first restaurant chain to turn 100, is one of the country’s best-known and most beloved restaurants. Its original craft Root Beer, still handmade fresh in-house with real cane sugar, water and a proprietary blend of herbs, bark, spices and berries and served in a frosty mug, made its debut on June 20, 1919. A&W All American Food® is served quickly at affordable prices.

University Launches Economic Development Collaborative


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 27, 2019) — Today, the University of Kentucky has officially launched the UK Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) to set the strategy moving forward on how UK will address economic development in the areas of talent, innovation, place and partnership. The EDC will also play an advisory role for the economic development engagement areas charged with executing on UK’s strategies.

Picture of two researchersMembers of the EDC include UK leadership from academia and administration across the campus including a vice provost, four college deans, Student and Academic Life, Philanthropy, Purchasing, HealthCare, Athletics, Human Resources, Research, Information Technology Services and six economic engagement areas listed below.

"UK serves as a powerful economic engine for Kentucky — not only by educating the next generation of citizens, but through partnerships with businesses and industries that strengthen Kentucky’s economy and improve the lives of its residents," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "The Economic Development Collaborative brings all of our leadership across campus together to optimize the economic impact of UK and its many missions. We are committed to further connecting the creative research, development and entrepreneurial spirit on our campus into tangible solutions in our communities."

“Dr. Capilouto has challenged the EDC to think boldly and to assemble the resources necessary to execute UK’s economic development strategies,” said George Ward, executive director of the Coldstream Research Campus. “The diverse brain power we have assembled is committed to meet this challenge and help the university achieve its strategic goals long into the future.”

The new EDC website is the access point for both internal and external stakeholders and offers comprehensive solutions for UK’s students, innovators, entrepreneurs and industry partners. It will serve as the university's primary source of information on programs, projects, initiatives and resources related to economic development at UK.

The six economic development engagement areas of the university highlighted on the new website include the following:

For more information on the UK Economic Development Collaborative, visit www.uky.edu/edc or contact George Ward at george.ward@uky.edu.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

UK, Signet Real Estate Group Break Ground on $34M Mixed-Use Parking, Innovation Center


By:  Joel Maas/Signet Real Estate Group
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2019)
  University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group have broken ground on a mixed-use parking facility in Lexington that includes over 900 new parking spaces and over 23,000 square feet of innovation and retail space that will revitalize one of the main corridors into the UK campus, located at the corner of S. Limestone and Winslow Street.

The P3 (public-private partnership) project is the first step in accomplishing UK’s vision of transforming this critical entrance to campus into a hub for innovation that will better serve the needs of students, faculty, staff and the community. The university anticipates that the project will anchor its programs in applied technology and creative development within a larger “innovation district,” where UK will partner with the City of Lexington toinvest in the adaptive re-use and re-imagination of this historic area.

Rendering of Winslow Project “There is a tremendous opportunity here to leverage the momentum we have as a university to expand what we are doing in partnership with the community, make progress on the university’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP), and serve our campus while looking toward the future of innovation, creativity, problem solving, education and research,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president of finance and administration.

Jason Perry, president of Signet Real Estate Group, said, “We are excited to partner with the University of Kentucky to deliver this forward-thinking project and achieve its vision for this corridor into campus. This facility will help address the university’s parking demands while transforming the edge of campus into an innovative destination for students, faculty, staff and the Lexington community as a whole.”

The ground floor of this mixed-use facility will house the innovation center and retail components. Plans for the university’s innovation center, which will serve students, the UK campus, and the greater Lexington community, are underway and may include application development, technology partnerships, design thinking studio space and e-sports initiative components. The innovation center and retail area will be managed in partnership between Signet and UK, and the parking will be managed as part of UK’s campus operations.

Financing for the project, provided by Signet in collaboration with UK, closed in early July. “This project is a true example of a public-private partnership where the collaborative efforts by all project stakeholders helped achieve optimal results. We work on higher education projects across the country and this stands out as a testament to what can be achieved through a P3 structure,” said Spencer Hyatt, vice president of Signet Real Estate Group.

The project is due to be completed by Fall 2020.

Signet Real Estate Group, a Signet LLC company, is a full-service development and project management firm in the areas of higher education, health care, research, and public-private partnerships. The company transforms complex development challenges into collaborative opportunities through a creative, flexible, and customized approach. Since the firm’s inception, Signet and its family of companies have successfully managed and currently have in progress more than $5 billion in real estate development and construction throughout the U.S. More information on Signet can be found at signetre.com.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

Welcome Back A&W!


Great things are happening in Lexington. We are excited to announce that the new A&W global headquarters will be built on the Coldstream Research Campus. After celebrating their 100 years in business, A&W has decided to become the first company to construct a facility within the city’s land on the Coldstream Research Campus.
 
Dating back to 1919, A&W Root Beer is the nation’s No. 1 selling root beer, still making delicious root beers at every store location. The company was once part of the Yorkshire Brands, which was located in Lexington in the 1990s. 
 
Photo of Kevin Bazner, president and CEO of A&W Restaurants, Inc. A&W moved their headquarters back to Lexington in 2012 in leased space at Coldstream. Their  intent is to have a long-lasting future in this forever growing city. After the purchase from YUM! Brands, A&W seized the opportunity to push their brand to new heights and focus on the company’s growth. The move back to Lexington brought 30 excellent, well-paying jobs and A&W now wants to bring more jobs with future growth of their company.
 
“We set up offices for A&W in Lexington in 2012 with a long-term mindset. Development of our own offices just furthers that commitment,” said Kevin Bazner, CEO for A&W Restaurants Inc. “We are very happy to be associated with the City of Lexington.”
 
The first step for this great achievement was when the Urban County Council sold three acres of the Coldstream land to A&W for $585,000. The new building will house its corporate headquarters with plans that will be finalized by Jan. 15, 2020.
 
“We’ve put a strong plan in place to attract new business and help local businesses grow at Coldstream,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “It’s great that the first business is local, and that it is a global headquarters. Congratulations, A&W.”
 
When Mayor Gorton took office in January, she became more familiar with the Coldstream Campus and its development plan. This is including the shovel ready 50 acres on the campus and another 200 acres nearby.
 
In 2017, Lexington obtained the 250 acres to use for economic development. The University of Kentucky traded the land in exchange for ownership of sections of several city streets within the main UK campus. It is a win-win that addressed the economic needs of the city and pedestrian safety at the university.
 
“The Coldstream property gives us the opportunity to bring many new, good-paying jobs to Lexington,” Gorton said. “We need to maximize this opportunity with a strong development plan.”
 
“We are so pleased that A&W Restaurants has long term plans for Lexington with the announcement of their new headquarters building at the Coldstream Research Campus”, said George Ward, Coldstream’s Executive Director. “Kevin Bazner and his team have been great clients and the University of Kentucky is appreciative of our mutually beneficial engagement relationship.” 

Welcome Back A&W!

Happy 100th to Coldstream Neighbor A&W!


A&W Restaurants, long-term corporate citizen of Kentucky and resident of University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus for seven years, celebrated 100 years of refreshing America’s taste buds on June 20, the first American restaurant chain to reach that elusive century mark.
 
As root beer swiftly became the household beverage of choice, A&W Restaurants invented its famous accompaniment, the thick and juicy, sigh-worthy bacon cheeseburger. As the nation rushed for that spectacular combination of burger and root beer, A&W became today’s multi-billion-dollar global franchise restaurant industry.
 
A&W Restaurants, Inc. is the global headquarters for restaurants located within the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Bangladesh. The company provides franchisees with the marketing and operational support it takes to run a successful restaurant.
 
When California entrepreneur Roy Allen thought to try his secret recipe of herbs, bark, spices and berries at a parade honoring World War I veterans in the small town of Lodi, in northern California, he sold the first frosty 10-ounce mug of A&W at a refreshment stand for a nickel. His secret recipe was an instant sensation.
 
So, we know where the “A” in A&W originated – Roy Allen. The “W” is Frank Wright, Allen’s partner in the root beer phenomenon.  Allen and Wright first opened A&Ws throughout California. Franchising of roadside restaurants started in 1925 as America embraced that new-fangled horseless carriage and well-maintained roads became a necessity.  Naturally, it wasn’t long before A&W signs popped up around the country. An early root beer aficionado, J. Willard Marriott (as in the hospitality empire) opened A&Ws in Washington, D.C., launching what would become the Marriott hospitality empire.
 
Put roads, cars and hungry people together, and it wasn’t long (the 1950s and 60s) for the drive-in restaurant phenomenon conquered America. A&W grew rapidly in the years following World War II, with many returning soldiers using GI Bill loans to open franchises. The chain is credited with creating Its Modesto, California, restaurant was the inspiration for the classic film “American Graffiti.”
 
In 1963, Dale Mulder, a young A&W franchisee, invented the ooey-gooey bacon cheeseburger. Mulder became president of A&W and remains chairman today. Muldor took A&W international in 1963, when he opened A&Ws in Malaysia, making it the first American restaurant chain to expand to Southeast Asia. That year, it also became the first American hamburger chain to open in Okinawa, Japan. Three years later, A&W began serving guests in Singapore.
 
“There’s a lot of history in 100 years, but our longtime connection to veterans is a common thread,” said CEO Kevin Bazner. “That’s why we are especially pleased to again be supporting Disabled American Veterans – DAV – as part of our celebration.”
 
To commemorate its centennial, A&W created a book of memories and photos fans and former employees submitted. Sales benefit DAV, visit A&W Merchandise Store. A&W has also also kicked off its annual summer fundraising campaign for DAV, which culminates on National Root Beer Float Day, Aug. 6.
 
Bazner noted that A&W has survived recessions, wars, the Great Depression, sugar shortages, competition and 11 ownership changes.
 
“Today, A&W is the strongest it has been in decades, in part because we have returned to our roots, literally – serving freshly made Root Beer in frosted mugs along with all-American food favorites,” he said.
 
There are about 1,000 A&W restaurants around the world today, with almost 600 in the U.S. A&W is owned by its franchisees, who acquired it from YUM! Brands in 2011. Forty-five new A&Ws are scheduled to open this year.

UK’s Coldstream Research Campus Receives Tax Increment Financing Approvals


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2018) — The University of Kentucky received unanimous approval from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council (LFUCG) on March 22, 2018 and then received unanimous preliminary state approval from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on March 29, 2018 to establish a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District within the Coldstream Research Campus.

As a KY public university research park, the Coldstream Research Campus qualifies under state statute for a mixed-use TIF. To be eligible, Office, Laboratory, Residential, and Hospitality developments are planned at Coldstream. UK is seeking a private developer to build a new multi-family residential complex and has already negotiated with a separate developer to build a new hotel. Developers for new office and laboratory buildings, including a high-tech incubator, are also being sought.
 
Coldstream’s development plan in the TIF district calls for $33 million in infrastructure needs, including roads, sidewalks, expansion of utility lines, and shared public areas including meeting spaces, pedestrian trails, and parks. Final state approval from the KEDFA board will determine how much of this public infrastructure can be funded with incremental tax proceeds.
 
In recent months, Coldstream has worked with LFUCG to change the zoning definition for the its P-2 zoning, including the name change to the University Research Campus Zone. The new zone definition allows for an increase to the size of buildings and the removal of the former minimum 5-acre lots. Buildings no longer need to be set back 50-feet from interior Coldstream roads. Placing buildings closer to sidewalks will make Coldstream more pedestrian friendly. In addition, large green spaces are no longer required around every building, but can be aggregated into larger, usable public park areas. The new definition also allows for development of multi-family housing which will help Coldstream create the live-work-play-learn environment desired by today’s high-tech workforce.
 
The university has also been in talks with LFUCG on a land swap that will convey approximately 250 acres to LFUCG that will be sold for economic development/job producing users. 200 of these acres are farmland adjacent to Coldstream and the remainder of the acreage is “shovel ready” within the boundaries of the research campus. A memorandum of understanding is in its final form and will go through LFUCG council in the coming weeks for approval.  State and UK Board of Trustee approval has already been received.
 
“Everything we’ve been doing, from the zoning changes to the land swap and now the TIF district is to accelerate the growth of Coldstream,” said George Ward, executive director of the research park. “These recent changes will provide the social and physical infrastructure needed to attract and grow more businesses in Lexington.”

“The number one reason companies locate on research campuses is to have access to university talent including the students we are training for high-tech jobs and the world class researchers at UK. We believe the university as a partner to assist with infrastructure only adds to the attractiveness of the Coldstream development,” Ward said. “The TIF provides the university with the ability to give a developer a shovel-ready site with built-in amenities, as well as insuring that the cost of infrastructure is kept at a minimum. That enables a developer to build a more dense project than they would have otherwise. It’s all for job growth.”

A&W Restaurants’ Growth Trajectory


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2017) A&W Restaurants, Inc., a Lexington-based restaurant group with nearly 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, looks to double down on restaurant growth in 2018 heading into its 100th Anniversary in 2019.  A&W recently celebrated the 6th Anniversary of their divestiture from Yum! Brands by announcing the brand’s core business is up nearly 30% over this timespan, and recent investments in new unit development look to increase those numbers in the foreseeable future.  The brand has seen many successful product launches since 2011, including the launch of Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders in 2013, which stemmed from the major restaurant industry trend towards boneless chicken.  In addition to new product launches centered on quality positioning, A&W has focused on a return to Local Store Marketing and developing tools for restaurant operators to advertise in their own communities.  And as of May 2017, one-hundred percent of all A&W restaurants now make their signature Root Beer fresh in each of their restaurants, with the same recipe that made the brand famous.
 
Photo of Kevin Bazner, president and CEO of A&W Restaurants, Inc.One of A&W’s major growth initiatives over the last few years has been a return to actively franchising the brand and building new units, something that was not emphasized during the first few years as a new company.  “For the first few years after leaving Yum! Brands, our focus was on strengthening the existing system.  We were not focused on building new restaurants,” Kevin Bazner, president and CEO explains. “We started getting requests to build from our franchisees in 2014 and in 2015 began actively franchising again.  Our goal this year was to build 15 new restaurants, and we hit that mark.  Next year we are shooting for 20.”  Bazner says A&W is going into markets where there used to be A&Ws, but they may have long closed down.  “The exciting part of this turnaround is being able to go back and build in smaller communities where there are so many fond memories of A&W.  We are definitely seeing increased demand to build in small-town America.”
 
When asked if being based in Lexington has impacted A&W’s overall business objectives and its team of approximately 30 Lexington-based employees, Bazner confirmed yes.  “The talent in central Kentucky is outstanding, and therefore we have not had to recruit outside of the region.  The cost of living is low, we are able to pay very competitive rates, and the strong arts and restaurant culture of Lexington continues to be a bonus for all those who live here.”  Bazner says the four company-owned restaurants in the Lexington market continue to do well, and A&W is looking at ways to expand the learnings that have come from their corporate stores into the other restaurants around the country.  “We are thankful to the Lexington community for allowing us to grow in the community.  We’ve been a quiet neighbor but you’ll be seeing much more of us in the coming years.”

Syndicate content