Edo Japan Launches National Expansion


Share post:

The Japanese quick service restaurant Edo Japan has been cooking up a new restaurant design and aggressive expansion plans for its chain with a focus on moving into the Ontario market.

David Minnett, president and CEO of the Calgary-based company, told Retail Insider that the chain has done tremendously well over the years primarily based in Western Canada and has averaged growth over the last 10 years of same store sales of about 3.6 per cent.

“It’s on trend. It’s healthy and a lot of its historical principles and drivers of what made it successful – made-to-order, fresh and that transparency that comes with that grill front and centre in front of the customer – are all things that today’s millennials want and desire. So there’s lots of good things there, along with calling it an ethnic cuisine that in our case is Japanese, and new experiences. So you’ve got this wonderful thing that’s already poised for growth and expansion,” says Minnett.


The company was founded in Calgary with its first location at the Southcentre Mall in 1979. Today, it has 115 locations with about 80 per cent of its stores in Alberta. There are about 18 stores in British Columbia and about six to eight in Saskatchewan.

Minnett says Edo Japan will open its first Manitoba location in Winnipeg in the next three months.

Edo Japan has a couple of food court mall locations in Ontario but plans to open its first street locations mid-year next year in the southern Ontario market.

“We have just started our foray going East and just have kind of formalized tenant rep broker partnerships with three or four organizations to cover Manitoba and Ontario with,” says Minnett.

Those include JLL, Webster Retail, Brentcom Realty, and Snable Consulting.


Minnett says the company has spent a lot of money and time getting ready to launch its new street format and take it East.

“We’re still in the QSR business. When you think that we only need a population base of 25,000 or 30,000, it isn’t so much in the near term having any issues about how much upside, it’s really for us how much we want to go market by market, get success, work with franchise partners that have the wherewithal to be able to do more than one store and new growth will come,” says Minnett.

“We’re probably planning 15 to 20 over the next two years and that would be national but that would also represent next year getting in and establishing a beachhead for our street format in both Manitoba and Ontario.”

That new format will build on the fundamentals that have already worked. The grill is the hero and the whole customer flow is designed for speed of service.

“It’s still a little bit of a secret,” says Minnett. “It’s a more modern version of where we’ve been with some opportunities to actually make the grill more transparent – a little bit more the theatre – as well as we’ve got some what I would call grab and go and market menu additions that will enable us to probably unlock sushi to a whole new level. Our sushi sales.”

Edo Japan will also be launching online mobile ordering so people can order ahead and pick up food.

Those initiatives are expected to take hold in early 2018.

Minnett says the restaurant has done a lot of work over the past 12 to 18 months to elevate and innovate its menu. For example, there’s a whole new category of premium bowl which has proven to be quite popular.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Bloor Street Luxury Run in Toronto Adds Saint Laurent Flagship as Area Transforms 

Saint Laurent’s substantial Toronto flagship features a brutalist concrete facade, and is the latest luxury brand to open a large storefront on the former ‘Mink Mile’. 

Montreal’s Le Groupe Brande Thrives with Lightspeed Capital: A Case Study in Expansion and Efficiency

Le Groupe Brande is leveraging Lightspeed Capital and its merchant cash advance system to fuel expansion plans, while also allowing the retailer to streamline operations, cut costs and experience significant efficiency gains.

Disposable Income Spent on Food by Canadians Varies by Provincial Tax Rates [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that there's a noteworthy correlation to food spending in Canada and the tax rates levied upon their earnings.

Royalmount in Montreal Announces Major Retail Tenants and Food Hall Ahead of August 2024 Grand Opening [Interview]

The highly anticipated development will include a mix of luxury brands and other retailers, foodservice businesses, and entertainment unlike anything that Montreal has seen.

Home Société Group Expands Ontario Footprint with Opening of 1st Standalone MUST Stores in Toronto and Mississauga [Interview/Photos]

The Quebec-based home furnishings retailer says it plans to open stores across the country after launching its MUST nameplate in Ontario this month.

Lower Income Households in Canada Struggling to Afford Groceries Despite Increased Trudeau Government Spending [Op-ed]

Sylvain Charlebois discusses a concerning trend showing lower-income Canadians are going hungry as food prices rise.

Apple and Alo Yoga to Open Flagship Stores at Ste-Catherine and De la Montagne Intersection in Montreal 

The brands will anchor a key corner in the downtown core that is also anchored by Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, spelling confidence in downtown ahead of the opening of Royalmount in August. 

Anatomy of a Leader: Shashi Behl, Founder of Joydrop

She discusses her career as an entrepreneur over the years, and how she founded the unique jewellery brand Joydrop which has seen commercial success.

Canadian Consumer Report by Adyen Reveals Key Insights on Shopping Trends, Payment Preferences, and Technological Advancements [Interview/Feature]

With trends like buy now, pay later options, demand for faster checkouts, and the influence of social media on purchasing, retailers must adapt to meet evolving consumer expectations says the study.

SUKOSHI MART Opens Its Largest Store Yet, Elevating the Asian Beauty and Lifestyle Shopping Experience

The Asian beauty and lifestyle retailer has been expanding across Ontario, and has entered the Ottawa market with its first store.

Toronto-Based Brasa Peruvian Kitchen Targets New York City as it Plans Canadian and US Expansion

The concept began in 2021 as a ghost kitchen, followed by physical locations. The now popular chain is planning to open about 100 locations on the continent.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto Blows Other Canadian Malls Out of the Water in ICSC Productivity Rankings 

The centre is nearly $1,000 higher than the next shopping centre ranked in terms of sales per square foot, with a VP attributing it to the mall’s location, tenant mix and overall operations.