Long John Silver, A&W up for sale

Yum Brands will focus on tacos, pizza and chicken as it aggressively expands into China.

By Kim Peterson Jan 18, 2011 1:45PM
Credit: Cruise Night at A&W Restaurant in Visalia, California (© Car Culture)Long John Silver's and A&W restaurants are on the outs with owner Yum Brands (YUM). The company is putting the two chains up for sale, saying they don't fit into long-term strategy.

Instead, Yum wants to focus on its more popular fast-food restaurants: Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. The company plans to expand those lines in the U.S. and internationally, it said in a statement.

Yum is all about its international business these days and is focused on its growth in China. About 65% of its profits come from overseas -- up from 22% in 1998 -- and it apparently doesn't think those two restaurants will do well in other countries.  

They don't even do that well in the United States. Long John Silver's and A&W were just a sliver of Yum's operations, with only about 1,630 locations total.

Yum has 37,000 restaurants across the globe, and it expects its international profits to grow to 75% by 2015.

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No word on how much Yum could get in the sale. But the two chains are so small that the company isn't expecting the sale to affect earnings or cash flow. Taco Bell has been the big winner for Yum, contributing about 60% of the company's U.S. profits.

Shareholders welcomed the news today, pushing Yum stock up more than 2% to $48.90 in midday trading.

Jan 18, 2011 5:59PM
It's pretty obvious that YUM lost interest in LJS and A&W many years ago. Those restaurants are in desperate need of repair. Employee morale is also very low. My kids love the food, it's a shame that YUM didn't incorporate these brands into their multi-brand locations, it may have been a hit. I hope some other company sees the potential of LJS/A&W, buys it up at the fire-sale and revives it. We could see LJS/A&W in every mall food-court across America. 
Jan 18, 2011 7:14PM
Well when you leave it up to corporations what would one expect.  A&W is an icon in the US and LJS used to be a really good place to eat.  Sounds to me like greedy corporations who cut corners to cut costs is what is ruining the companies. 
Jan 18, 2011 6:10PM

I will definitely miss the hushpuppies at LJS...  I remember when my son was young, and we lived in Tucson, there was an LJS a block from the local drive-in  movie theater, and we would stop and get chicken planks and hushpuppies to munch on during the movies...  With LOTS of their great tartar sauce, too!

I also have very fond memories of stopping at the A&W in Williams, AZ in college when I was driving back and forth from my California home to Univ of Tulsa.  Loved the frosty mugs of root beer, and later on, their mini corndogs were great! 

Jan 18, 2011 5:39PM
as a former employee and more importantly, a customer since childhood, may i say i,m soooo going to miss LJS!!!  Like losing an old friend-don't go!
Jan 18, 2011 6:59PM
we have been wondering why the two have went down hill, l j s is not worth eating any more, it is all breading, the burgers at 2w are so little you need two of them!! taco bell only gives you **** leakage,  kfc is to expensive, pizza hut is awful, yum foods ruined them all!
Jan 18, 2011 7:06PM
While it is only fast food, it is still very sad that yet another bit of Americana is going by the wayside in favor of "International business" and growth in another country like China! I grew up LOVING A&W and will miss them very much!!
Jan 18, 2011 7:17PM
What they need to do is fire the higher ups. Every fast food chain owned by Yum Yum is one I avoid. They all taste like crap. There are too many other problems to mention. It just sounds like there are too many people with one track minds in the corporation to me.
Jan 18, 2011 7:45PM
I enjoy the seafood at LJS!!!! This latest move by YUM doesnt mean they are going to disappear...it means some other company will buy them and hopefully business will continue. I hope they are around for another 50 years.
Jan 19, 2011 12:58PM

Hopefully someone will by them and restore them to their former glory.  YUM is just a typical profits-chasing corporation not really interested in the quality of their product or the experience.

Around here, Central Texas, Yum has been in a consolidation mode on the stores, combining  LJS with either KFC or A&W in the same counter.  Quality of food, service, and experience has declined remarkably whereever this has been done.  There are absolutely no stand-alone LJS or A&W store in the area, and only a handful of KFC stores.  They have shut down all sit-down Pizza Huts, depending solely on delivery and "express" locations. The only single brand stores left are Taco Bells, and thankfully those are few and far between.  We have much better local chains of that type to choose from.


Jan 18, 2011 7:49PM
Unfortunate about them losing A&W.  There's a KFC that I occasionally go to (even though it's not all that convenient) because it is cobranded with A&W and has draft A&W inside.  Personally, I think they should put draft A&W in all their locations and people will seek them out.
Jan 18, 2011 7:39PM
try Russia, instead of China. Whats up with Asians loving pizza hut pizza. my wife is asian but she loves supreme pizza. she doen't know twenty years ago their pizza was fresh and made from sctrach; now us consumers can't be fooled. it's an embrassment. dodging the us market. And long john is too pricey. 30% smaller fish and chicken planks. same or higher prices. no value. No thank you.
Jan 18, 2011 7:00PM
I will not miss LJS at all. I say good riddance to their oily food, maybe this will open the door for more Captain D's locations. As far as A&W I will miss them, they made an awesome burger.  
Jan 18, 2011 10:28PM
Long John Silver and AW are going no where.  They are all franchised.  The only thing that will change is the company that owns the rights to the name and recipes. 
Jan 18, 2011 9:39PM

That sucks.  A&W burgers are awesome!  The rootbeer and hush puppies are great.  The crispy breading on the fish and chicken is fantastic!!!  I hope some other company buys them and doesn't change a thing with the food.

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