Restaurant dining is back, and Franchise Canada takes a close look at casual and full-service franchises feeding Canadians from coast to coast
By Stefanie Ucci
Restaurant-goers can likely admit that they’ve missed dining in at their favourite establishments for the past year as we’ve battled the COVID-19 pandemic. While these casual and full-service dining restaurants have had to pivot their offerings to take-out and delivery, re-openings throughout the summer welcomed guests back to patios and indoor dining environments.
Now is the time for prospective franchisees to consider investing in restaurant opportunities from coast to coast as we slowly but surely enter the “new normal” of post-COVID-19 life. For those with a knack for serving delicious and high-quality meals, casual dining franchises may be top of mind.
Join Franchise Canada as we explore casual and full-service dining restaurant franchises across the country that are getting back on their feet and offer exceptional franchise opportunities.
Boston Pizza International (BPI) is proud to be Canada’s number one casual dining brand, serving communities from coast to coast since opening its first restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. Today, BPI operates in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, has been recognized as a Platinum Member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, and has been a Franchisees’ Choice Designation winner for eight consecutive years.
Boston Pizza offers guests two experiences under one roof—a family-friendly casual dining restaurant and a separate sports bar with a lively atmosphere. While it’s famous for gourmet pizzas made with signature hand pressed dough, the extensive menu satisfies every appetite. Mouth-watering pasta dishes and a wide variety of, salads, entrées, and desserts are also served. The casual atmosphere makes Boston Pizza as fun for families as it is for solo dining, teams, and groups of all ages.
With $1 billion in system-wide sales, Boston Pizza has more locations, serving more guests annually, than any other casual dining concept in Canada. Each year, more than 40 million guests are served across more than 380 Canadian locations.
BPI provides award-winning national advertising campaigns and sponsorships, as well as operational support. Franchisees benefit from a comprehensive “Hospitality Leadership Training” program for all new franchisees and their management teams, followed by in-restaurant support and team training. Ideal attributes for successful franchisees include a commitment to serving the community, being business savvy, an entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills, exceptional customer service skills, and being comfortable working within a proven system.
As a premium casual dining brand in Canada, Browns Socialhouse fills the gap between big-box casual and neighbourhood pubs. The atmosphere is fun, relaxed, and sophisticated, with an emphasis on socializing with friends and neighbours while sharing delicious food and drinks. Browns has been in business since 2004 and has been franchising since 2006, with more than 76 locations in operation and quickly growing.
Typical restaurant sites are smaller than category average at about 3,500 to 4,000 square feet, to allow the brand to provide its products and services to smaller urban spaces and in suburban communities. Its aim is to capture traditional “neighbourhood bar and grill” clientele, and the smaller site footprint allows it to enter spaces that “big-box casual” establishments normally don’t fit.
In addition, the smaller site concept reduces the capital that’s required for construction and start-up. The franchise fee for Browns Socialhouse is $50,000, with a minimum start-up capital of $750,000 in unencumbered cash. The franchisor provides an eight-week training program for new franchisees, but successful franchise candidates must have prior proven casual dining management experience to be considered.
At Browns, the guest is the first priority, and this is demonstrated by the layout of space in the restaurant, environment, and overall experience. Restaurants fit into the niche neighbourhood and community in which they’re located, creating a unique and exciting experience. Browns is built on the quality and consistency of the customer experience and uses in-house marketing through positive word of mouth between guests.
Café 22 has served the city of Winnipeg since 1999, positioning itself as an ideal spot for gathering and celebrating with friends and family. Unique menu items include stone-fired pizza that’s cooked in less than 180 seconds, 20 types of beers on tap, an extensive wine menu, martinis, and more. Traditional menu items include burgers and sandwiches, pastas, salads, traditional pan pizzas, and desserts. Café 22 is the perfect spot to grab a bite for lunch, spend dinner time with the family, or enjoy a night out with friends. It’s the weekend destination for guests to relax and unwind with good food and drinks, whether for casual drinks or a night on the town. The brand provides guests with options for takeout or dine-in meals.
The franchise fee to buy into a Café 22 establishment is $30,000, with a required investment of $750,000 to $1 million. As an emerging franchise system, there are currently two franchise units in Canada, and territories are available throughout Canada and the United States.
Initial training for new franchisees lasts for one month, with support from the Café 22 head office team.
Since 2015, Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar and Grill maintains a contemporary restaurant atmosphere while paying homage to a traditional roadhouse restaurant. It offers an incredible guest experience, with a commitment to serving high-quality food at groundbreaking prices. As a beacon to road travelers everywhere, Chuck’s Roadhouse has developed high demand from guests across the country and is expanding at a rapid pace. The brand is best known for its famous AAA steaks, lobster tails, prime rib burgers, BBQ back ribs, chicken wings, and more roadhouse favourites.
There are more than 75 Chuck’s locations open and under development across Ontario, with plans to expand across Canada. Restaurants are filled with branded marketing, interior finishes and furniture, light-up marquee signs, massive TV walls, and the brand’s signature mounted motorcycle.
Buying into a Chuck’s Roadhouse costs $50,000 for the franchise fee and an investment of $375,000 to $700,000. Premium locations are available and franchise owners can enjoy low royalties starting at 3.75 per cent and a low national marketing cost of 1.25 per cent.
Franchising with Chuck’s Roadhouse provides a variety of benefits including an innovative concept with a competitive advantage, industry-leading sales and growth, full turnkey buildout, high alcohol sales and low operational costs, in-house financing options, and a low investment with high returns. Chuck’s Roadhouse is owned by Obsidian Group Inc., a hospitality business that also owns Crabby Joe’s Bar • Grill and Coffee Culture Café & Eatery. It provides years of experience and professionalism with a competitive advantage and hands-on support for business owners.
Guests with a love for elevated and quality food can find the ideal dining experience at Crabby Joe’s Bar • Grill. The brand provides a modern, casual dine-in restaurant that focuses on the guest experience, menu selection, and affordability. Restaurant décor features rich tones and textures that combine a warm, rustic charm with sleek, modern accents and colours for a friendly and comfortable experience.
Since the inception of Crabby Joe’s, the primary goal was to provide guests with quality food in a relaxed, unpretentious, and family-friendly environment—serving amazing dishes such as flatbreads, gourmet salads, Angus burgers, bowls, pastas, and more.
With a low franchise fee of $40,000 and a required investment of $650,000 to $850,000, Crabby Joe’s franchisees receive abundant training and ongoing support. Head office also provides innovative local and regional marketing, store and build-out costs at a lower-than-industry-average price combined with higher-than-industry-average sales per square foot, higher-than-industry-average liquor sales, and an enjoyable and happy atmosphere that makes a difference.
Crabby Joe’s is owned by Obsidian Group Inc., a hospitality business that also owns Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill and Coffee Culture Café & Eatery. The parent brand provides a competitive advantage and hands-on support for business owners due to its years of experience and professionalism in the restaurant industry.
East Side Mario’s is proudly owned and operated, offering a casual Italian full-service restaurant experience. The brand believes that every day is a new opportunity to create amazing dining experiences for guests that capture the heart, energy, and spirit of Italy. With more than 60 locations across Canada, it’s been in business since 1987 and operates with the motto, “Come hungry. Leave full.” East Side Mario’s offers meals that are accessible and provide good value in a fun atmosphere. Guests are offered all-you-can-eat soup, salad, and garlic home loaf.
The franchise fee for East Side Mario’s is $60,000 and requires an investment of $1.3 to $1.6 million with territory opportunities available across Canada. Franchisees should bring a net worth of $1.4 to $2 million, and the required start-up capital is $600,000 to $700,000. Build time for restaurants takes approximately five months, and Recipe Unlimited provides in-house real estate, design, and construction professionals to assist with the sourcing, securing, and designing for each unique market.
Franchisees with East Side Mario’s are offered eight weeks of initial training. As part of the Recipe Unlimited family of brands, franchise partners benefit from a competitive advantage in purchasing, real estate, construction, marketing, information technology, and more.
Eggsmart is the new take on breakfast! It focuses on fresh, made-to-order, honest breakfast whenever you need it. This Canadian-born brand has been in business since 2008, serving up dishes with a delicious twist on the classic breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Franchisees pay a low franchise fee of $35,000 and required investment of $350,000 to $525,000, while following a seven-step process to opening a franchise.
Eggsmart also provides a comprehensive four-week training program with opening assistance and ongoing support from head office. Training for new franchisees begins at the Eggsmart Support Centre in Toronto, Ontario, as well as a designated training restaurant. The course delivers both hands-on instruction and on-the-job training for about 50 hours per week, covering basic principles of management, food preparation, customer service, marketing, and more. Once the training program is complete, franchisees work with their business development manager to plan the restaurant opening, as well as the Eggsmart marketing department to implement a grand opening campaign. The business development manager will also offer ongoing training and support in the recruiting, hiring, training, and maintaining of staff members, maximizing financial performance, cost controls, cash flow management, customer and community relationships, food management and sanitation, and much more.
Eggsmart has 50 locations across the country, and more territory and individual opportunities are available in select provinces across Canada. Eggsmart is focused on growth and is dedicated to building strong franchise relationships with owners who have a passion for the fresh food industry and a drive to succeed in their business endeavour.
Famoso is a premium casual full-service Italian pizzeria and bar that’s passionate about authentic Italian pizza-making techniques, featuring many family-sourced recipes. Famoso serves traditional Neapolitan pizza in various sizes as well as Italian-inspired dishes, including tapas, pastas, sandwiches, and entrees. The brand believes the key to success is a strong commitment to excellence and true passion for what it does.
Founded in 2007, Famoso is an authentic replication of an Italian Pizzeria direct from Napoli, Italy. The Famoso concept is focused on authentic Neapolitan pizza made with high-quality ingredients, the use of imported Italian deck ovens, and traditional culinary techniques in pizza-making that have gone unchanged for generations. Famoso is the neighbourhood pizzeria and bar where great food and good friends make the perfect ingredients for a memorable night.
There are 28 franchise units across Canada, with multiple new location openings planned for 2021, and territory opportunities available throughout North America. Franchisees pay a $45,000 franchise fee as part of a total investment of $400,000 to $700,000, of which $350,000 cash equity is required, and standard SPL financing. Famoso provides their guests with an authentic experience, vibrant atmosphere, fresh ingredients, and a focus on great service and hospitality.
Franchisees are provided industry leading franchise support services including extensive initial training and store opening assistance, comprehensive ongoing operational support, strategic site selection and lease negotiations, stylized restaurant design and turnkey construction in major markets, and brand-building marketing including media campaigns.
Back in the early ’90s, the founder of Fionn MacCool’s was inspired to create a collection of pubs during a trip to Ireland. In 1996, the brand opened its doors with its first pub located in Hamilton, Ontario, and has since expanded across the country with more than 25 franchise units. It offers a unique culture and hospitality atmosphere that’s found in traditional Irish pubs across the pond. With an emphasis on “Craic” as the essence of Fionn’s, the experience is about connecting with friends and family, while sharing a story and a laugh and listening to live music over a pint and great food.
The franchise fee for Fionn MacCool’s is $60,000 with a required investment of $1.3 to $1.6 million, and territory opportunities available across Canada. The total amount of cash required is $600,000 to $700,000 and franchisees should bring a net worth of $1.4 to $2 million. Build time for restaurants is approximately five months, with continuous support from the Recipe Unlimited family of brands along the way.
Franchising with Fionn’s offers hotel conversion opportunities for business owners to unlock the full value of the food and beverage offering. This allows franchisees to choose from multiple banner brands to best suit their hotel and guest profile, provides access to a large support team within the franchise system, offers higher sales and profitability potential as well as decreased expenses from Recipe’s purchasing power, increases the occupancy rate in hotels, and provides franchise owners with the potential to sell their restaurant for a larger return.
Since 1958, the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has served its world-famous pancakes and breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals to guests of all ages. IHOP offers an affordable dining experience with warm and friendly service from staff across the more than 1,600 franchise units in the United States, 26 franchises in Canada, and 100 franchises in international territories.
IHOP’s vision is to nourish business success by focusing on four primary strategies: emerging the brand, enhancing the guest experience, upholding operations excellence, and maximizing franchisee development. To do this, the brand relies on the strength of franchisees worldwide who, along with their staff members, provide guests with delicious food, excellent customer service, clean restaurants, and great value for every meal.
IHOP is looking for experienced multi-unit developers. Franchising with the brand requires a $40,000 USD franchise fee and a $1.5 to $3 million CAD investment that varies by asset type and size. Available provinces in Canada are Ontario, Quebec, Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories, with non-traditional opportunities located in travel centres, casinos, airports, and universities. Initial training takes eight weeks and ongoing support includes assistance with site selection, restaurant design planning, restaurant opening, and ongoing operations and marketing consulting.
Ideal IHOP franchisees are experienced and well capitalized multi-unit operators who may already operate multiple restaurants with another brand. Characteristics of ideal franchise partners include knowing how to build a brand, understanding that accessible pricing and value are core components of the business, being highly capable in multiple business areas, having material liquidity and net worth with access to capital, and being committed to long term franchise relationships that are built on trust and respect between franchisor and franchisee.
Back in 1986, Il Fornello was founded in Toronto, Ontario, and introduced guests to wood-oven baked pizza with a variety of unique and tasty toppings. Since day one, the brand’s priority has been providing guests with the highest quality food and service possible, while adapting and evolving the menu to food preferences and sensitivities. Il Fornello was the first Italian restaurant to offer gluten-free pizza and pasta options and recently introduced a vegan menu that’s seen great response and success.
Passion is what defines the Il Fornello brand. The team has a passion for three main items: the food, the guests, and for being customers’ neighbourhood Italian restaurant that was also voted “Toronto’s Best Pizza.”
Il Fornello has franchise and corporate locations in Toronto, Ajax, Richmond Hill, and Oakville, Ontario, and territories are available throughout all of Canada. The franchise fee to buy into the brand is $35,000 with a $1.15 to $1.42 million investment required. There’s a four per cent royalty rate and one per cent advertising fee, and franchisees receive complete training that lasts 10 weeks with ongoing support from head office.
The three leaders of Il Forenello consist of president Ian Sorbie, vice president of operations Stacey Patterson, and vice president of development Sean Fleming. They have a combined hospitality experience of more than 100 years and their strong leadership and experience have created high staff retention rates and a focused and solid strategy for franchise growth.
Joey’s Seafood Restaurant is Canada’s largest seafood restaurant brand, which was founded in 1985 by seafood lover Joe Klassen and his wife, Theresa. They had a vision to create a friendly, just-around-the-corner style of seafood restaurant for guests. With headquarters located in Calgary, Alberta, Joey’s has been franchising since 1992 and currently has 45 franchise locations, with available opportunities in select provinces including Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and more.
Joey’s is known for its signature fish and chips meal, as well as a wide array of seafood, shellfish, chicken, and more for guests to enjoy.
With a low franchise fee of $25,000, Joey’s provides five weeks of initial training and has a passion for people and guests throughout all aspects of the restaurant experience. The Joey’s team treats franchise partners like family and builds relationships with franchisees to support them and help them succeed in their business endeavour.
Benefits of buying into a Joey’s franchise include the longevity of the concept, since the brand has been serving up fish and chips for more than 30 years; a market niche with mid-priced, high-quality food; growing trends in the popularity of seafood, which is often perceived as healthy eating; availability of good locations with little competition; smaller teams of staff due to Joey’s unique operations, menu, and facility design; and the low cost of a franchise compared to other franchise concepts.
Kelseys was first opened in 1978 by a trio of Canadian brothers who were inspired to start the brand during their numerous road trips down south. Since then, it’s expanded to more than 60 franchise restaurants across Canada, offering fresh ingredients and menu items that are prepared in-house. Kelseys is known for its burly burgers, two-handed sammies, and wings tossed up eight different ways. Kelseys has a modern roadhouse ambiance and guests are encouraged to dig into the generous and delicious dishes that are available for lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks.
The franchise fee for Kelseys is $60,000, which can be built within approximately five months. The required start-up capital is $600,000 to $700,000 and the total investment required is $1.3 to $1.6 million, with territories available across Canada.
Franchisees are offered eight weeks of initial training and join the Recipe Unlimited family of brands. That means they’re offered a competitive advantage for purchasing, real estate, construction, marketing, information technology, and more abundant support during their franchise career. Recipe has amassed $3.5 billion in system sales and provides a strong choice of multiple banners to choose from that best suit franchise partners’ styles and market conditions.
Mandarin is an award-winning all-you-can-eat buffet that serves Chinese and Canadian dishes to guests, as well as a la carte, takeout, and delivery menu options. With headquarters located in Brampton, Ontario, the brand has been in business since 1979 and franchising since 1989. Mandarin has nearly 30 franchise units in operation, with available territories across Ontario.
The restaurant serves a variety of food items including salads, soups, sushi, and entrees. It also offers a grill table, a carving table featuring Prime Rib, seafood, desserts and an ice cream sundae bar. Takeout and delivery options include special family dinners and combo platters for one.
The franchise fee for Mandarin is 10 per cent of the total set-up cost and the required investment is $3 million. Training for Mandarin franchisees lasts one to three years, and applicants are required to attend a training program at corporate headquarters in Brampton. The brand is an equal opportunity employer and looks to hire staff that are energetic and passionate about food and people. Mandarin places importance on three aspects of the business: values through continuously striving for excellence and being committed to customers, quality, teamwork, accountability, passion, respect, and community; advancement through offering career development opportunities and benefits to employees; and providing tons of fun through being energetic and passionate about providing quality food and exceptional service to guests.
Montana’s is the home of Canadian BBQ and is famously known for its fall-off-the-bone ribs, 100 per cent Canadian steaks and burgers, and menu favourites including fire-grilled chicken tacos and mac and cheese. The Canadian-born casual restaurant was established in 1995 and has been franchising since 1998. It’s a barbecue and bar joint with a friendly environment that’s great for all occasions and guests of all ages. The friendly bartenders and servers provide a relaxing atmosphere full of fun and connections with friends and family members.
The franchise fee for Montana’s is $60,000, with a required investment of $1.4 to $1.8 million and start-up capital of $500,000 to $700,000. There are more than 90 franchise units, with territory options from coast to coast. Build time takes five months and restaurant conversion opportunities are available.
Initial training for franchisees is eight weeks and they receive abundant support from the Recipe Unlimited family of brands, which has more than 50 years of franchising experience in developing restaurants in Canada. Restaurant conversion opportunities are available for franchise partners and offer the ability for them to be their own boss while accessing a large support system of franchisees and corporate operations experts in the full-service dining industry.
Proudly based in Western Canada, Original Joe’s Restaurant & Bar first opened its doors in 1997 and has provided a down-to-earth and down-the-street experience for guests. Franchise owners have a love of good food, enjoyed in the company of good friends, and never take themselves too seriously. The brand is best known for its craft beers, approachable wines, and tried-and-true cocktails that are served alongside freshly made comfort food. An array of menu items are available, including snacks and shareables, poutines, and ready-to-eat bundles for take-away. Guests can expect satisfying food and genuine service each time they visit.
Franchise partners can buy into Original Joe’s with a franchise fee of $60,000 and are expected to invest $1.4 to $1.7 million into the design and construction of a new restaurant. The startup capital required is $550,000 to $700,000. Build time takes about five months and restaurant conversion opportunities are available to help franchisees unlock the true value of their restaurant location.
With more than 35 franchise units across Canada, new opportunities are available and franchise owners receive abundant training and support from head office. Franchisees join the Recipe Unlimited family of brands that’s achieved $3.5 billion in system sales across 12 franchise brands.
Pizza Hotline Takeout & Delivery has been a market dominator in Manitoba since 1986, operating with the slogan, “Great pizza at a great price.” The brand places emphasis on providing value and quality to guests, with robust and thought-out processes backed by delicious food offerings and strong franchisee supports.
Pizza Hotline Stone-Fired Pizzeria, its sister company, was founded in 2011 and implements a blend of traditional and modern, with a true dedication to its slogan, “Fast, Fresh, Quality.” It serves Naples-style hand-made pizza cooked in just 180 seconds and offers uncompromising quality and taste.
The franchise fee for both brands is $30,000 with a required investment of $400,000 for Pizza Hotline Takeout & Delivery and $250,000 for Pizza Hotline Stone-Fired Pizzeria. Territories are available throughout the United States and Canada, and there are more than two dozen cumulative units in Canada.
With more than 30 years in business, Pizza Hotline has achieved dominant chain-wide average-unit volume, incredible investment ratios, and quick cash flow business models, making it an incredible franchising opportunity. The average franchisee relationship is decades long, with success rates well above industry standards. Benefits for franchisees include world-class total training, store construction support, comprehensive marketing support, an omni-channel order taking centre, accounting and operations support, and more.
Franchisees can expect to be hands-on with their business, contribute a holistic investment to get started, and put in hard work and leadership skills. Franchise partners are carefully chosen from a highly selective pool of candidates to own a Pizza Hotline franchise.
Founded in 2016, Pür & Simple is a breakfast and lunch spot where dishes deliver unexpected twists on classic recipes, providing guests with the opportunity to discover bold new flavours within their comfort zone. Menu items range from smoothie bowls to savoury Benedicts, which are all handcrafted with love by chefs.
Pür & Simple offers franchise partners a balanced lifestyle with the perfect harmony between personal and professional life, as restaurants are usually open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The franchise fee for Pür & Simple is $35,000, with a required start-up capital of $250,000 in unencumbered cash and an investment of $500,000 to $750,000. There are currently 30 franchise units across Canada and growing, with opportunities available across the country. Restaurants take approximately 12 to 20 weeks to open, and franchisees must pay a three per cent advertising contribution and five per cent royalty fee.
Initial training for franchise partners consists of up to three weeks of theoretical and practical training, with three weeks of grand opening training and support. The brand looks for franchisees with passion, entrepreneurial mindset, sufficient capital to invest, and an interest in being hands-on with their business, guests, and staff.
Benefits of franchising with Pür & Simple include a recession-resistant business model, an affordable investment, turnkey concept, top-notch branding and marketing, an authentic and creative menu, chef-inspired recipes that are easy to execute, multi-unit opportunities, a hand-crafted alcohol menu, and much more.
As part of the Ricky’s Group of Family-Style Restaurants, Ricky’s All Day Grill has more than 75 franchise locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon. The brand has been in business since 1962, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to guests with a focus on providing a wide variety of dishes and great service in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Ricky’s All Day Grill offers a variety of restaurant options, all with stylized and comfortable décor and innovative menus. Restaurant sizes are typically from 2,800 to 3,500 square feet with a separate or integrated lounge and can be in a free-standing building or as an endcap location in a power centre.
Franchisees with Ricky’s will pay a $45,000 franchise fee as part of a total investment of $650,000 to $950,000, of which $250,000 cash equity is required, and standard financing. Ricky’s is also located in well-known hotel properties across Western Canada, that are owned by hotel groups and/or third-party franchisees, as part of the Ricky’s Hotel Partnership Program.
Initial training for franchisees consists of comprehensive hands-on training, full service operational support, and industry-leading activation and marketing programs. Franchisees receive assistance with site selection, design and development, kitchen training and restaurant management, cost controls and financial management, marketing development support, and service standards and excellence.
Ongoing support programs provide the systems that each restaurant needs, including a certified kitchen manager program, server training, quarterly area meetings, and regional district managers. A menu development team keeps the food fresh, creative, and interesting.
Smitty’s Canada Inc. is a full-service family dining and lounge restaurant that offers a wide menu variety and specializes in “All Your Favourites All Day Long!” The brand has been in business since 1960 and has strong market awareness and loyalty as a category leader in family restaurants.
There are currently more than 80 franchise and corporate units across Canada, with franchise opportunities for single units, multi units, and master/territories in select provinces including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, and more. Conversion opportunities allow the brand to convert existing food and beverage facilities into franchises, located in places such shopping malls, strip centres, and hotels and motels. Converted restaurants also allow franchisees to receive immediate cash flow from customers who are staying in surrounding hotels.
Franchise partners are required to have both a minimum cash investment and start-up capital of $250,000. The franchise fee is $40,000 plus GST and includes the brand’s professional experience in locating and evaluating a site.
Smitty’s has documented its operating systems and programs within manuals that are available for franchisees. These include branding and signage; development; new store opening; training for franchisees, management, and crew; training in accounting and administrative duties; operations; and store marketing. Smitty’s Presentation and Portion Standards Manual displays all menu items that are accompanied by photographs, recipes, and details about ingredients, portioning, cooking, assembly, and plating presentation. A full training program is developed for those with or without prior restaurant experience.
Quebecers know St-Hubert for its renowned slow-roasted rotisserie chicken and ribs that can be ordered at the 120+ landmark locations across Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. With more than 65 years in business, St-Hubert is continuing expansion in Quebec, offering two types of franchise opportunities.
Traditional rotisseries have a dining room, resto-bar, and children’s corner where guests can spend time with their friends and family. Express rotisseries offer a quick-service restaurant experience at the counter with a seatting area. Both rotisserie styles provide takeout, drive-thru, terraces, and delivery services to guests.
The franchise fee to buy into St-Hubert is $40,000, plus $10,000 in start-up fees. Build time for new restaurants takes about six months and requires a total investment of $1.8 to $2.2 million, with a required net worth of $1.2 million.
Franchisees are provided with a comprehensive 15-step training program that trains employees in all aspects of their positions including reception, customer service, and meal preparation. They’re required to contribute to a common fund for marketing and advertising support that allows them to set up national advertising campaigns. Ongoing support from the Recipe Unlimited family of brands also includes bilingual IT support and online recruiting to find the best personnel to represent the St-Hubert brand.
Since opening its doors in 2012, State & Main Kitchen + Bar has lived for those warm connections between old friends and new acquaintances who enjoy great food and good times together. It’s best known for its craft beers and cocktails offered at the friendly bar, alongside reimagined and delicious scratch-made menu favourites. The menu caters to gluten sensitive and vegetarian guests, and offers shareables, family and date night bundles, a kids’ menu, delicious starters, and meal items with a unique twist.
The franchise fee for a State & Main restaurant is $60,000, with a $1.4 to $1.7 million total investment and cash requirement of $550,000 to $700,000. Restaurants can be built within approximately five months, with support from Recipe Unlimited’s in-house real estate, design, and construction professionals to secure and design according to market needs.
Initial training is provided to franchisees from the Recipe Unlimited family of brands, along with continuous support and knowledge from head office and its more than 50 years of franchising experience. Currently, there are more than a dozen franchise units across Canada, with available territories from coast to coast. Franchise partners can benefit from restaurant conversion opportunities that offer a multitude of advantages including the potential to sell a franchise restaurant for a higher return.
Founded in 1985, Sunset Grill is Canada’s leading full-service breakfast restaurant franchise and is the home of the original Famous All Day Breakfast™. The brand offers California-style breakfast meals that are prepared in an open kitchen and served in a warm, friendly atmosphere.
Sunset Grill has almost 100 locations across Canada in Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick and is continuing expansion across the country and select US markets. Restaurants require 1,000 to 1,500 square feet units with a basement, and freestanding sites are typically 2,200 square feet.
The franchise fee for Sunset Grill is $55,000 with a start-up capital of $290,000 and required investment of $640,000, which includes the franchise fee. Owner-operators can enjoy a healthy work-life balance with the brand’s one-shift operation model. Franchisees also receive high profit margins of up to 20 per cent on net sales, which leads to excellent returns and the building of a saleable asset.
Ideal franchisee characteristics include a supervisory or managerial background, ability to communicate and connect with guests and employees, willingness to follow operations and procedures, enthusiasm to learn and understand the cooking process and kitchen operations, and having integrity, honesty, sincerity, and tenacity.
Initial training begins before grand opening day and is ongoing, with support from head office. The benefits of franchising with Sunset Grill include specialization in the marketplace, streamlined operations, comprehensive training, ongoing professional guidance and low staff turnover.
Swiss Chalet is the home of Canada’s favourite rotisserie chicken and has been serving guests since 1954. Known for their Quarter Chicken Dinner and famous Chalet Dipping sauce, the brand continues to serve up fresh, never frozen, Canadian chicken.
The cost of buying into a Swiss Chalet franchise is $60,000, with a total investment of $1.3 to $1.8 million. The startup capital required is $520,000 to $720,000 and takes approximately four to five months to build. Restaurant conversion opportunities are available for franchise partners. There are more than 180 franchise locations across Canada, with a total value of $3.5 billion in system sales as part of the Recipe Unlimited family of brands.
Franchisee training is eight weeks long and territory opportunities are available throughout all of Canada.
With more than 25 years of restaurant experience, Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge offers effective direction, guidance, and support along every step of its franchisees’ business experience. Symposium is 100 per cent Canadian founded, focused on the pillars of quality, value, and guest-focused service. It’s the go-to destination for both dining and celebrations, where guests are invited to “Escape the Ordinary.” Customers experience flavourful made-to-order meals, an exceptional atmosphere, and superior service. The brand serves meals all the way from breakfast to dessert and lunch to late night snacks, that can be enjoyed through dine-in, takeout, and delivery options.
The franchise fee to buy into Symposium is $50,000, with a $665,000 to $730,000 required investment. The brand has more than two dozen franchise units, with territory opportunities available across all of Canada.
The very first meeting with the Symposium head office team begins with offering assistance in obtaining financing, holding tradespeople to construction timelines, and providing online video training for staff members. Initial training with Symposium is provided for up to three people and lasts three months, all the way until the ribbon cutting for grand opening day. After that, franchisees receive 10 weeks of support from a transition tutor who assists on a regular basis with day-to-day operations and procedures to ensure a successful business start-up. Franchise partners also benefit from adaptable site requirements, brand strength and versatility, adaptability, superior quality, manuals and operating procedures, marketing, and purchasing power.
Iconic British Columbian brand White Spot Restaurants is Canada’s longest running restaurant chain, and has been serving communities for more than 90 years. Founder Nat Bailey started off by transforming his Model T vehicle into a travelling lunch counter that was set up at Vancouver’s Lookout Point back in 1928. By 1955, the brand was serving 10,000 cars a day and became an iconic carhop service. Franchising restaurants began in 1994 and today White Spot is famous for its award-winning, legendary 100 per cent fresh Canadian beef burgers topped with the “secret” Triple ‘O’ sauce and iconic pickle. More than one million guests dine every month at White Spot, which is a testament to the brand’s broad appeal and continued success in the family casual dining segment. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, take-out, or delivery, White Spot appeals to guests of all ages.
White Spot Restaurants operates under the White Spot Hospitality umbrella that also houses their quick service concept, Triple O’s. The concept was developed in 1997 and features the famous Triple O’s burger line up, fresh cut fries, and hand-scooped milkshakes. The popularity of Triple O’s continues, with rapid expansion planned across Canada. The brand recently entered Ontario and plans to open 30 units over the next 60 months.
White Spot Hospitality provides an abundance of support to its franchisees in all areas, including operations training, marketing, purchasing, real estate, and construction.
White Spot and Triple O’s have been the proud recipient of the Canadian Franchise Association’s (CFA) Award of Excellence for many years, with both brands consistently ranking in the top three. As the CFA’s Franchise Choice recipient for both brands and one of Canada’s Best Managed companies, White Spot Hospitality is always on the lookout for great franchisees to join their team.
Wild Wing Hospitality Inc. is the largest chicken wing-focused restaurant chain in Canada based on store count, with more than 85 franchise units across the country, and 10 more locations set to open this year. The brand has 101 unique and proprietary flavours to toss wings in, and sells approximately 24 million chicken wings annually. Restaurants provide a full-service casual dining experience in a Western-themed atmosphere.
The franchise fee for Wild Wing is $35,000, with a required start-up capital of $150,000. The brand currently has a growth strategy of opening 130 locations coast to coast through sustained expansion by 2023. New build restaurants are about 2,200 to 3,500 square feet and costs range from about $536,300 to $795,800. A retrofit or conversion restaurant is around the same size, but the lower fees range from approximately $275,000 to $495,500.
Wild Wing has been in business since 1999 and offers an established franchise concept that appeals to families, friends, couples, sports teams, and more. Franchisees receive a minimum of two weeks of hands-on training held at a designated Wild Wing facility and completed by a team of corporate trainers.
Franchise partners also receive outstanding support every step of the way under the direction of an accomplished management team. Wild Wing has fewer obstacles to ownership than other restaurant franchises due to its established support system, flexible options, and low franchise fees and royalties. A simple to execute menu results in low labour costs for franchise owners as well.
The first Wing’n it Restaurant was established in 2011 in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland and later that year, the brand opened its first franchise in Gander, Newfoundland. Since then, it has spread its wings to 18 locations, most which are located in Newfoundland, with others in Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, and new locations opening soon in Ontario.
Wing’n it Restaurants are family-friendly and are meant to transport guests to a world of fun, variety, and comfort. They offer more than 100 types of sauces to top chicken wings, ribs, fries, wedges, and onion rings. The variety-filled menu has options for all ages to choose from, enjoyed in an atmosphere with intriguing aviation décor and friendly service from staff. In addition to the abundant flavours of wings, the restaurant also offers wraps, soups, salads, poutine, perogies, quesadillas, burgers and sandwiches, nachos, flatbreads, ribs, and much more.
It costs $35,000 to buy into a Wing’in it Restaurant, with a minimum investment of $375,000 and required start-up capital of $50,000. Territory opportunities are available across all of Canada and internationally. Franchisees are provided initial training, with ongoing support from head office that has two locations in Torbay, Newfoundland and Barrie, Ontario.
Back in 1999, Zaatar W Zeit emerged into the dine-in restaurant industry. Born in the sleepless city of Beirut, the location helped feed the brand’s spirit of resilience. With an ethos centred on bringing guests together through sharing Lebanese cuisine made with love, the essence of the brand’s culture is simplicity, inspiration, and positivity. The past two decades have grown Zaatar’s passion for delivering Mediterranean cuisine to guests, while putting its culture on the international map.
The Zaatar brand is based in Lebanon but delivers its nutritious and delicious foods to countries including Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. There are 55 franchise units in the Middle East and 25 corporate units in Lebanon—and one corporate unit in Canada, located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.
With menu items available for takeout, delivery, or pickup, Zaatar offers traditional dishes such as specialty wraps, manousheh, flatbread pizza, and even all-day brunch.
Franchise fees run from $25,000 to $45,000 to buy into a Zaatar franchise, and franchisees are required to have a minimum of five years’ experience in the food and beverage services or restaurant industry. Ideal characteristics for franchise partners include having a passion for the industry and strong belief in the brand’s concept; a willingness and ability to open multiple units in a specific area; and having the required liquidity to open multiple units, with a proven record of having developed or operated multi-unit concepts.