Awards of Excellence



DEADLINE: January 17, 2020


Eligibility & Entry

Award Categories

Benchmarking Report



Past Winners

The CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising are the pinnacle of franchise achievement in Canada. These awards recognize excellence in franchise operations and winning franchise brands must demonstrate a dedication to superior franchisee relations, leadership, business planning, marketing, training and support, ongoing operations and communications.

To reflect the wide range of franchise opportunities in Canada and to enable franchise systems to be rated against their peers in their class, the Awards of Excellence include seven categories.

Entries are separated into Traditional Franchises (i.e. those with bricks and mortar locations) and Non-Traditional Franchises (i.e. mobile, home-based, etc.), then grouped based on number of franchisees.

Winners are determined from the franchisee’s assessments and a weighting is given for a higher response rate. The prestigious CFA Award of Excellence in Franchising Grand Prize is given to a Gold winner in the Traditional category and a Gold winner in the Non-Traditional category.

The Canadian Franchise Association Awards of Excellence are presented annually to franchise brands that have demonstrated the strongest relationships with their franchisees. Entry is free and exclusive to members of the CFA. Here are 5 reasons you should take advantage of this exclusive member benefit and enter the 2020 Awards of Excellence:

Bragging rights – if you’re a finalist, you can let prospective franchisees know you’re an award-winning franchiseNational media coverage – all winners are included in a nationwide media release distributed by CFA, as well as featured in Franchise Canada Magazine editorialRecognition at the CFA National Convention – finalists will be recognized in front of their industry peers during a prestigious awards dinner at CFA’s annual conferenceWe make it easy for you to spread the word – all winners can use the award logo to promote their achievement, plus a press release template that can be easily shared and adapted for your own promotionValuable feedback from your franchisees – Awards of Excellence participants can order a Benchmarking Report to gain critical insights into what you could be doing better

Entry into the CFA Awards Program is free and exclusive to members of the Canadian Franchise Association that:

have been franchising for at least 2 years, andhave at least 6 franchisees (owners and not just locations)

To qualify, eligible brands must meet certain franchisee participation levels, as follows:

For New and Emerging Systems:

with 6-10 franchisees, 100% must participate;

For all other systems:

up to 100 franchisees, at least 10 must participateover 100 franchisees, at least 10% must participate

Eligibility requirements are based on Canadian operations.

Entry Process

Entry is by brand – each brand must complete their own questionnaire and submit a distinct franchisee contact list. Entry into the program is free and can be completed in a few easy steps:

Use the button on the upper right to go to the registration page, or request the link from awardofexcellence@cfa.caComplete the registration and choose your start date.You will be notified via e-mail by The Portage Group of receipt of your registration and you will be requested to provide an electronic contact list of all your franchisees.Submit your electronic contact list to The Portage Group.Franchisees will receive an e-mail invitation to participate based on the date you choose. To help franchise systems promote franchisee participation, franchisors are provided with an e-mail template to send to their franchisees. The template provides information about the CFA Awards Program to encourage franchisees to take 15 minutes to complete the online survey.Franchisees complete the 15-minute Franchisee Survey online and must submit their responses within the specified time.The Portage Group will amalgamate all of the franchisee responses and determine winners for each categoryWinners will be announced on Monday, April 6 at the 2020 CFA National Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

Awards of Excellence

Survey participants fall into one of seven categories based on type of system and number of franchisees:

Traditional Franchise Systems (i.e. brick and mortar locations) 6-20 Franchisees21-49 Franchisees50-99 Franchisees100+ Franchisees

Non-Traditional Franchise Systems (i.e. mobile or home-based)6-20 Franchisees21-49 Franchisees50+ Franchisees

From among the Gold winners, two Grand Prizes are awarded – one to the entrant with the highest score in the Non-Traditional Category, and one to the entrant with the highest score in the Traditional category. All awards are presented during an Awards Gala at the CFA National Convention.Results are calculated from the franchisees’ assessments, and a weighting is given for a higher response rate, to determine a Gold, Silver, and Bronze winner for each of the seven categories. Scoring is based on a scale of 1 to 10 to provide a granular assessment and to enhance the value and accuracy of determining a winner.

Franchisees’ Choice DesignationFranchisees’ Choice Designees are entrants whose survey scores exceed the benchmark standard. Designees are ranked equally and appear alphabetically on a list of winners published on CFA’s website and in its print magazines. Additionally, CFA recognizes consecutive winners who have won more than five years in a row. Learn more.

The optional Benchmarking Report provides significant added value to participants, even to those who participate every year, as understanding the franchisor/franchisee relationship is vital to the success of a franchise brand.

The Benchmarking Report generated by the Portage Group provides a comparative summary of your franchisee’s average responses with:

The responses from all franchisees in the same category;The responses from all franchisee respondents in all categories;…and includes your own responses for reference.

The benchmarking report will provide insight into franchisees’ assessments across the following seven categories:

Franchisee Selection ProcessLeadershipTraining and SupportOperations and ImprovementMarketingFranchisor and Franchisee RelationsBusiness Planning

The Benchmark Report is available at a fee of $350 if ordered and pre-paid during the Franchisor Registration process or $599 if ordered after the Awards Gala Dinner on April 6th, 2020.

Order and pay within 30 days of invoice (up until April 6, 2020):$350 (plus tax)Ordering after April 6th, 2020$599 (plus tax)

Ordering a report

You have two options:

When you register, there will be an option to order a copy of the report.Contact the CFA Membership department to request a report:

ConfidentialitySurvey responses will be held in the strictest confidence and no individual respondent or specific brand will be identified. For some questions, respondents will be invited to make comments. These comments will be made available to the franchisor and respondents will be asked not to put any identifying information in the responses unless they wish to be identified for those questions only.

The Portage Group is an independent research firm that has been mandated to administer the CFA Awards Program surveys. Survey responses will be held in the strictest confidence and no individual respondent will be identified.

For some questions, respondents will be invited to make comments. These comments will be made available to the franchisor and respondents will be asked not put any identifying information in the responses unless respondents wish to be identified for those questions only.

The names of the franchise systems participating in the CFA Awards Program are never disclosed except as winners, top finalists or Franchisees’ Choice designees. Franchisee contact information is used solely for the purpose of administering the CFA Awards Program.

Comments From Past CFA Awards Program Winners And Finalists:

“The Franchisees’ choice award is a nice recognition and confirmation that we are doing things right and that our Franchisees are behind us. We have a unique relationship with our franchisees, that is all cemented in our brand.”– Andrea Mackey, President, Wise Cracks

“Winning the Gold Award of Excellence in the category of Traditional Franchises – Mature/Established is important because it represents direct feedback from the Franchise Partners we serve. Then to be further recognized as the top franchise system in the country through the CFA Award of Excellence in Franchising Grand Prize is simply amazing because we are competing with the best of the best in franchising in Canada.”– Michael Drever, former CEO and Founder, Expedia CruiseShipCenters (2010 Winner)

“This award is the largest achievement a franchise system can aspire to win. It is truly amazing to be recognized as a leading franchise system in Canada.”– Darryl Sangster, President and COO, Sangster’s Health Centres (2009 Winner)


2019 Winners2018 Winners2017 Winners2016 Winners

Questions? For more information and to learn how you can take part, contact:


Thank you to the following members who are National Sponsors and support CFA throughout the year: