A&W was started by Frank Wright who partnered with Roy Allen in June 1919, to help Wright with the root beer business he started that year. The company became famous in the United States for its "frosty mugs," where the mug would be kept in the freezer prior to being filled with RB and served to the customer. They branded their product A&W RB after their surnames.
In 1962, the first overseas A&W restaurant opens in Guam. The international division quickly expanded to the countries of the Philippines and Malaysia in 1963.
A&W's goodwill Ambassador Mascot, the Great Root Bear is created in 1974 to participate in grand openings and perform community service, such as entertaining at children's hospital.
The A&W franchise was brought into Malaysia in 1963 by Mr and Mrs Lie Boff from USA. The Lie Boff family opened their first outlet in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman making it the first fast food outlet in Malaysia. This was followed in 1965 with the first Drive-in restaurant in Petaling Jaya.
A&W Malaysia Sdn Bhd (5168-X) was bought over by KUB in 2001, with an aggressive expansion drive to revamp and expand its reach.