Industry News

CFA Members in the Restaurant Industry Participate in the Annual Restaurants Canada Show

From February 28 to March 3, Restaurants Canada hosted the virtual Restaurants Canada Show with the theme, Feeding the Recovery: Rebuild, Reinvent and Reconnect, to help businesses in the restaurant industry recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the four-day event, speakers and experts in the restaurant industry participated in webinar presentations including curated exhibits, conferences, speaker sessions and panels, culinary experiences, and more. Among the many presenters included a variety of Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) members in the quick-service and full-service restaurant industries.

The following members participated in the virtual events.  

BDO Canada LLP

Lyn Little, partner and national franchise leader at BDO Canada LLP, participated in the panel, Exploring New Revenue Opportunities, where she discussed ghost kitchens in the restaurant industry and the hurdles they may face in the long term; the importance of franchise disclosure documents; implementing a culture of change in the workplace; top challenges franchisors and franchisees face; and more.

Lori Wilson, manager of people & change, moderated a discussion on the panel, The future workforce: How to recruit & rebuild your team post-pandemic, where the speakers addressed Generation Z entering the workforce and what this means for the future of businesses.

BDO Canada LLP is an accounting, tax, and advisory firm that helps franchisors and franchisees develop key business and financial plans.

YUM! Brands

Nivera Wallani, president and general manager of YUM! Brands, participated on the CEO Panel: Quick-Service Restaurants, where she addressed her predictions and optimism for the restaurant industry post-COVID-19; opportunities for growth, development, and new learning; and how to support employees during the pandemic; among much more.

YUM! Brands is the world’s largest restaurant company with more than 1,100 outlets in Canada all owned and operated by franchisees.


Catherine Crozier, senior director of strategy, marketing & brand Innovation at McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada spoke on the Coffee Panel: Robust Discussions on Coffee Diversification & Shifting Cafe Culture. Crozier examined coffee consumption by Canadian consumers before and during the pandemic, noting that Canadians still need the same caffeine fix, but are now consuming it mainly at home.

McDonald’s is a quick-service restaurant that’s committed to franchising with highly qualified and experienced business owners.

Tim Hortons

Samuel Heath, head of retail for Tim Hortons, also participated in the Coffee Panel. Heath addressed what the coffee industry has experienced during the pandemic and the uncertainty of what it will look like in the future, noting that people are shifting their coffee consumption to at-home methods rather than purchasing in store.

Tim Hortons is a quick-service restaurant that specializes in baked goods and coffee, operating thousands of locations across Canada.


Robert Cifarelli, director of mobile consumer success at A&W, joined the panel, How to Bring Transparency & Consistency to Your Delivery Partnership. He discussed how A&W customers have shifted their purchases from in-person to food delivery apps, and how the brand has enhanced its delivery experience including a redesigned bag and spill-free lid for customers.

A&W Food Services of Canada. Inc is a quick-service burger chain with more than 900 restaurants across the country.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

Andrew Harkness, strategy advisor of organizational health initiatives at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, addressed mental health in the workplace during the panel, Mental Health: Increasing Awareness & Supporting Tools. Harkness noted the importance of approaching mental health the same way we approach physical health: through check-ins, communication with staff, creating a safe environment, and more.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services provides workplace health and safety expertise and practices.

Recipe Unlimited Corporation

Frank Hennessey, CEO of Recipe Unlimited Corporation, participated in the CEO Panel: Full Service Restaurants, which discussed how restaurant brands pivoted their businesses at the start of the pandemic, key items they’ve learned over the past year, and predictions for the future of food delivery, among more on the future of the full-service restaurant industry.

Recipe Unlimited Corporation is a full-service restaurant company that’s home to many iconic brand restaurants in Canada.

Boston Pizza

In an intimate one-on-one chat, Jim Treliving, chairman and owner of Treliving Management and Boston Pizza International, took part in the Chat with a Dragon presentation. Reflecting on his decades of experience in restaurant business, Treliving shared how Boston Pizza has adapted its brand, menu, and restaurants throughout the pandemic; strived to keep guests and employees safe; and achieved franchise sales during the last year.

Boston Pizza International Inc. is a casual dining brand with more than 390 restaurant locations across Canada.

Silver Chef

Robert Phelps, president of Silver Chef Canada, hosted the panel, Designing & Renovating for the New Restaurant Footprint, that addressed the theme of how kitchens and dining areas have adapted their designs to keep up with the changes introduced by the pandemic.

Silver Chef provides hospitality equipment to franchise owners.