Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Root beer, roast beef, fish & chips: Who’s buying?

February 1, 2011

There’s a new batch of quick-service restaurants on the block – Arby’s, A&W and Long John Silver’s – and according to YouGov BrandIndex, A&W is the most popular of the three.

A&W, founded in 1919 and known for its root beer, had the trio’s highest satisfaction rates, said YouGov BrandIndex, which does daily consumer perception research on brands. 

A&W and Arby’s had higher satisfaction scores than an average of about two dozen fast-food chains, while Long John Silver’s fared worse. (See graphic below)

“A&W and Arby’s have a core group of supporters and satisfied customers,” said Ted Marzilli, global managing director for YouGov BrandIndex. “If I’m a buyer, that’s a strength.”

Marzilli predicted that all three brands would find buyers, although prices and other terms likely would differ.

He said A&W and Arby’s could be reinvigorated by buyers who focused on their strengths, while Long John Silver’s is more of a turnaround story.

Another big question is whether any of the chains will snag a valuation as rich as the one attached to Burger King’s $3.3 billion sale to 3G Capital last year.  The $24 per share sale price represented a 46 percent premium to Burger King’s price before news of the negotiations emerged.

When asked how Burger King satisfaction scores looked, Marzilli said they were ”a hair higher” than Arby’s over the last six months. 


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