Foodservice Chain ‘barBurrito’ Seeks Out Bankrupt and Liquidating Businesses for Rapid Expansion

Date:

Share post:

Food service establishment barBurrito is in expansion mode with the chain exploring markets across Canada and it is open to buying out bankruptcy sales or liquidator opportunities.

The company, which first opened in 2005 in Toronto, currently has 113 locations including a recent opening in the United States in Canton, Michigan. The Canadian locations are spread out from coast to coast from the Maritimes to Nanaimo, B.C.

12 BARBURRITO STORES ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION POST COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Shawn Saraga, Vice President of Business Development for barBurrito, said the company currently has 12 more stores under construction across the country. There are also 30 more franchisees looking for spaces in Canada.

He said the company believes it can grow to 400 locations over the next seven to 10 years. And barBurrito sees the US as probably a 3,000 store market.

“We’re a Mexican themed restaurant. We are actually licensed to sell beer as well and do sell beer in the majority of our locations. The majority of our locations are on grocery store anchors or Walmart shopping centres, power centre plazas. We’re typically between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet with a small patio,” said Saraga.

“We like high visibility, high street traffic locations. The total investment across Canada ranges from $300,000 to $340,000 for a franchisee of which they need around $100,000 to $125,000 in cash. Our sales on the low end are $400,000 to the high end of $1.6 million.

“We make the best burritos in town. And I’ll tell you the design of the way we make the burritos makes all the difference because our burritos don’t fall apart. You can actually have one of our burritos in your car while you’re driving without making a mess of yourself. And the same with our quesadillas. They’re actually built to hold their own. We have a special rolling technique that rolls it so tight that nothing is going to fall apart when you eat one of our burritos.”

Saraga said the company has aggressive expansion plans in place and it is looking to grow quickly.

“I think we really proved ourselves to the industry and to our franchisees during COVID in the way that we stepped up. When COVID hit, it hit our company the same it hit the rest of the world. Fast and furious,” he said. “Overnight we saw a 70 percent decrease in sales and our President and Founder Alex Shtein did five things that I think made a huge difference in our ability to succeed.

BARBURRITO WAIVED 100% OF FRANCHISEE ROYALTIES IN WAKE OF COVID-19

“The first thing we did is we waived 100 percent of our royalties to all franchisees and I think we’re the only franchisor in North America that actually waived 100 percent of royalties. Everybody else either deferred or reduced. Alex also set aside a quarter million dollars of his own cash as a relief fund to help support our most vulnerable stores. And that went a long way, especially with food court locations. The third that was done was getting on the phone with landlords across the country to renegotiate rents to help our franchisees to be successful. And I believe again we’re the only franchisor in Canada that did that on behalf of our franchisees. Most other franchisors told the franchisees to contact landlords themselves and negotiate their own deals. We took the bull by the horn to make sure that we spearheaded those deals.

“The fourth thing we did is our marketing team came up with a strategy of having corporations sponsor burritos being sent out to frontline health care workers and hospital staff and we matched donations up to $25,000 and sent out almost $70,000 of burritos during the height of COVID-19 to feed frontline health care workers and hospital staff. Lastly, we renegotiated our rates with Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes, and Door Dash and boosted our marketing spend and as a result our sales from last year throughout COVID remained flat. And now we’ve actually seen increases – double digit increases year-over-year from all those efforts.”

As a result of COVID, many restaurants are closing their doors permanently creating plenty of real estate opportunities. Saraga said barBurrito would like to take advantage of that and take over those spaces. The company is approaching bankruptcy trustees, landlords, and realtors on a regular basis. Trustees are an interesting way to get in before the space even hits the market. The company is also talking to other brands that might want to give up space.

The company focuses on power centre and grocery-anchored locations but also likes to be on university and hospital campuses.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.

Leon’s Furniture to Develop 40-Acre Site in Toronto with Flagship Store, HQ and Thousands of Units of Housing [Interview]

The company is expanding in Canada as it looks to open new stores, while also establishing a REIT that will become its own entity.

Retail Insider the magazine Presents the Trends and Forcing Functions that will Shape the Future of Retail

Experts weigh in on the current and future state of the retail industry in Canada, as well as discussion on new retail entrants to Canada.

Québec’s Bill 96 Signage Laws are Bewildering for Many Retailers while Presenting Opportunities [Op-Ed]

Québec’s French-language sign rules are chaotic, yet they unearth an unforeseen opportunity for brand differentiation says Éric Blais.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

Survey Data Shows Canadians will Prioritize Romance Over Budget Cuts This Valentine’s Day [Interviews]

David Litwin of Moneris notes that Valentine's is an interesting bellwether for what businesses might expect from consumers for the rest of the year.

Anine Bing to Open 2nd Canadian Storefront at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto 

The US-based women’s fashion brand recently opened its first Canadian store at Yorkdale, and will open its second location in a downtown luxury hotel. 

Retail Burnout Crisis in Canada: The Call for Empathetic Leadership and Proactive Solutions Amid Operational Strains [Feature]

It's never been more difficult to work in retail, with store managers burning out amid lower staffing numbers, increased task and store robberies. Two industry experts discuss the situation.

Leon’s Furniture to Develop 40-Acre Site in Toronto with Flagship Store, HQ and Thousands of Units of Housing [Interview]

The company is expanding in Canada as it looks to open new stores, while also establishing a REIT that will become its own entity.

Retail Insider the magazine Presents the Trends and Forcing Functions that will Shape the Future of Retail

Experts weigh in on the current and future state of the retail industry in Canada, as well as discussion on new retail entrants to Canada.

Québec’s Bill 96 Signage Laws are Bewildering for Many Retailers while Presenting Opportunities [Op-Ed]

Québec’s French-language sign rules are chaotic, yet they unearth an unforeseen opportunity for brand differentiation says Éric Blais.