Pandemic pounds sales revenues at A&W Restaurants of Canada

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      A popular fast-food chain is the latest to report dismal results as a result of COVID-19.

      Today, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. reported that same-restaurant sales were down 31.6 percent mid-March to mid-June, compared to the same period in 2019.

      That amounted to a drop-off of $103.7 million.

      "The effects of COVID-19 on many businesses, especially restaurants, have been unexpected, sudden and unprecedented," the company stated in its quarterly report. "The future effect of COVID-19 on the economy and businesses, in general, remains uncertain."

      A&W has 996 restaurants in Canada, including 987 owned by franchisees.

      Sales were only down 18.7 percent over the 24-week period that ended on June 14 compared to the same 24 weeks in the previous year. But year to date, sales are only down 15.2 percent.

      This indicates that business fell off the cliff after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11.

      Systemwide sales were down 18.5 percent for the last quarter, compared to the same quarter of 2019.

      In 2018, A&W Royalties Income Fund posted systemwide sales in excess of $1.4 billion.