When you think of A&W, you’re probably imagining the burger family, a bright orange building, and the tantalizing smell of fries carrying you through the doors. But we all know there’s a lot more to it than that.

A&W has always been a disrupter in the fast food game. 

Not only is their food delicious, but they’ve set themselves apart early on by being one of the few chain restaurants to make a point of choosing grass-fed beef and antibiotic-free chicken. It’s a difference you can taste and one you definitely feel later. No post-burger coma here!

If you didn’t already love them enough, we have one more reason. 

Once again, A&W is leading the charge for better industry choices. They’re on a journey to zero waste, and they’ve partnered with Second Harvest to get that mission off the ground. 

Photo via Shutterstock

About Second Harvest

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader in food recovery. They work by partnering with restaurants and grocery stores to salvage surplus food before it ends up in a landfill. 

They focus on the perishable items that are often left to waste, like fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, juice, milk, and more. This rescued food then goes on to support a network of nonprofits and social organizations like food banks, meal programs, community centres, and women’s shelters.

We may not like to think about it, but food waste is a pretty big problem worldwide. In Canada alone, about 58% of all food produced is lost or wasted every year! That’s 11.2 million tonnes of edible food going straight into a landfill – and at the same time, nearly 5.6 million Canadians are facing food insecurity. 

Photo via A&W

How Food Rescue Works

It’s a fair question. After all, how do rescued food items like beef, chicken, beyond-meat patties, fries, hash browns, turnovers, and produce get donated and repurposed? It’s very clever because all these items can be made into completely new meals!

A&W restaurants package and refrigerate surplus food items and arrange a pick-up with local organizations using Second Harvest’s Food Rescue app. These organizations then turn those perishable food items into meals like soup, salads, wraps, and more. Second Harvest’s app system allows surplus food to get directly to the nonprofit organization that will use it, reducing transport and storage time and perish risk so they can save as much food as possible.  

A&W was already a Canadian staple, but this takes them to the next level. 

As of now, all A&W restaurants in Calgary have partnered with Second Harvest to reduce food waste and get food surplus to the Calgarians that need it most. Every week, A&W restaurants in Calgary provide 1600 meals of donated food. And that’s just the start. A&W plans to roll out this partnership across the rest of the country, too! 

It’s amazing to see one of our favourite burger stops doing so much to encourage positive change in our communities. Frankly, it’s a standard we should hold more restaurants accountable to.

But we’re not here to get preachy! 

If you like a good burger and love knowing that your late-night drive-through stop is supporting a great cause, then head down to your nearest A&W. Our current fav is the Spicy Habanero Chicken Burger, so that’s what we’ll be getting…