Chick-fil-A comes to Toronto
Chick-fil-A would be opening its very first franchised international restaurant in Toronto, come 2019. This is coming over ten years after starting a location at the departure levels of Calgary International Airport. According to Tim Tassapoulous, Chick-fil-A president and Chief Operating Officer, “We have wanted to come to Toronto for a very long time because we believe Toronto is one of the best and most vibrant cities in North America.”
In the press releaseissued by the company, they disclosed theirplan to dig their roots into the Greater Toronto Area over the next five years with their very first location opening in the first half of 2019.
Having spent years researching favourite location across world cities, Chick-fil-A admits their decision to set up their first international franchise location in Toronto is hinged on the fact that the city is a food-loving city, known widely for its hospitality. In Tassapoulous words, “These strengths align perfectly with Chick-fil-A’s focus on community giving, delivering a premium product, and working with passionate people that can grow with our company – making Toronto the perfect choice for international expansion.”
They are already on ground in Toronto, recruiting team members and operators who would help drive their vision. With plans to establish 15 new restaurants in the next five years, this would create 50 to 75 jobs per location, a prospect that would further drive up the city’s employment rates and economic achievements if accomplished.
For a little background, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant was opened in 1967 by now late founder, S. Truett Cathy and over the years, the restaurant has grown to become one of the largest restaurant chains in the US. Chick-Fil-A which is perceived as highly religious and closes all its locations on Sundays, have faced controversies over the years. In 2012, they faced a lot of controversy over issues on same sex marriage but have managed to keep thriving and expanding amidst these controversies.
The brand, which has saturated the US, has some of its most thriving locations in New York, Chicago and Manhattan. Theircurrenttriumphs in locations such as Manhattan,is likely to have spurred them into the quest for international expansion. Success in Toronto would most likely mean further expansion into the rest of the country.
According to their website, the Brand has always run a tight business model in which Chick-fil-A retains the ownership of every restaurant. They handpick the restaurant locations and build the restaurants. They select and train restaurant operators giving no room for passive investors or ownership of more than one franchise. Chick-fil-A maintains tight control over its franchises. When they finally move in to Toronto, they would cost $15,000 and operators would be required to be available to run the business full time.
The company would be facing tough competition in the already busy Toronto fast food industry as a couple of foreign fast food chains, such a Halal Guys, Wahlburgers, Five Guy Burgers and Fries are already flourishing in the same market