White Spot Launches New Concept Store for the Public to Test Menu Items: Interview


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Restaurant chain White Spot is launching a new concept at The Amazing Brentwood development this spring, providing customers with new and innovative menu items directly from its Culinary Centre.

Warren Erhart, White Spot’s President, said the R+D Kitchen by White Spot concept is the next evolution of the brand’s legacy, honouring the past and embracing the future.

“We wanted to have a vehicle where we could actually experiment to try new items for White Spot,” he said. “The menu for R+D is about 50 per cent White Spot and 50 per cent new items. Giving us a chance to try new items and really push the envelope a little on White Spot’s evolution.”

White Spot, with headquarters in Vancouver, is Canada’s longest-running restaurant chain. Founded in 1928, when Nat Bailey launched Canada’s first drive-in restaurant at Granville and 67th, the 94-year-young chain serves more than 17 million customers annually at 128 White Spot and Triple O’s (their premium quick service restaurants) throughout B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Asia. 

White Spot R&D Kitchen Concept at The Amazing Brentwood (Image: Stephanie Lee)

The new menu will include purposeful items that were designed to be vegan or gluten-free as an example. 

“In this particular menu, you’ve got your White Spot favourites but there’s also some burgers we’ve created that are wagyu beef for instance with a brioche bun.”

Erhart said the R+D Kitchen will feature a full-service restaurant, lounge and bar — it’s not only the place to experience the latest food innovations but also a chance to see what’s being created by the bar team. 

“There’s also a lot of kitchen technology we’re experimenting with at this location,” he said. “Looking at unique kitchen equipment packages that could hopefully one day find their way into our White Spot restaurants. So it gives us a chance to experiment with technology as well.”

Erhart said the new dishes created by James Kennedy, Executive Chef and the Culinary Team, could be included on a White Spot core or promotional menu. Before making it onto the R+D menu, all new dishes will be fully vetted by White Spot’s internal tasting panels, he added.

White Spot R&D Kitchen Concept at The Amazing Brentwood (Image: Stephanie Lee)

“At R+D Kitchen we’ll be exploring even more flavours, curating unique recipes, and incorporating fresh, local ingredients into a widely-appealing menu,” said Kennedy. “I’m super excited about this new adventure.”

Erhart said the beverage menu will also feature a selection of local craft beer, local cider and B.C. wines.

The new restaurant was designed by Joy Roque, the brand’s Head of Design and Construction, and Erhart said it includes influences from  B.C.’s backyard indoors with warm wood, stone, and millwork design elements, as well as through its expansive windows. There’s also a Kitchen Window to The Amazing Brentwood’s food court to serve customers in that manner as well.

“People who are going to the food court can use the Kitchen Window space for food court offerings. It’s really multi-purpose,” said Erhart. 

Image: White Spot

The Amazing Brentwood, a co-venture by Shape Properties, Healthcare of Ontario Pension, and L Catterton Real Estate, is one of British Columbia’s largest master-planned, mixed-use developments.

Located in Burnaby’s Brentwood neighbourhood, it will feature world-class shops, restaurants, public plazas, entertainment, and 6,000+ new homes. 

“With its stunning indoor/outdoor public space and design, size and scale, connectivity, and diverse and compelling tenant mix, The Amazing Brentwood will be a one-of-a-kind urban gathering place that reflects the vibe of Metro Vancouver’s global community. The Amazing Brentwood’s phased opening begins now,” says the development’s website.

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.


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