Harvey’s QSR Restaurant Chain Looks to Add 200 Locations in Canada in National Rollout


Share post:

Since 1959, Harvey’s has been a staple of the Canadian quick service restaurant industry and even through the pandemic the iconic national brand has continued to grow its footprint across the country.

David Colebrook, President of Harvey’s, said the food establishment opened about 10 new locations in the past two years and has about 300 now in Canada with plans to grow to about 500 within the next few years.

David Colebrook

“We’ve had great success in the last two years. Obviously as things were locked down we were still allowed to do takeout and drive-thru, primarily. So Harvey’s has fared very well and has been one of the fastest growing QSR burger chains in Canada over the last two years,” said Colebrook.

“The last two years have been very difficult on the overall restaurant industry, the food service industry, with the impact of COVID and the closure of dining rooms. Restaurant people in general are some of the most entrepreneurial and adaptive people you will ever find. I think people managed through it whether it was takeout or delivery all those sorts of options of how they kept their businesses going.

“The key thing for Harvey’s, because we have drive-thru and or takeout, it allowed us to still be open and serve Canadians. Obviously when COVID first came in March 2020 everyone was significantly impacted but QSR as a whole was able to rebound including Harvey’s. Full service restaurants had a much more difficult time because of the dining room situation.”

Image: Harvey’s in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Colebrook said the company’s target is to grow significantly in Canada from coast to coast.

The brand is not represented in BC but plans are to eventually grow into that market as well.

“We are looking to get to our long-term goals of around 500 units which we think is a good target for us and achieve that in the next five to 10 years,” he said. “And we’re very focused on it. Constantly looking at sites, looking at partnerships and we’re open to different formats and different sizes. It doesn’t have to be just a one size box with a drive-thru. We’re open to inline opportunities as well as gas station additions and other options like universities and colleges, many different types of formats in order to grow.”

Rendering: Harvey’s
Rendering: Harvey’s

Colebrook said Harvey’s has had a great growth platform over the last few years by first and foremost focusing on what made it famous and made it grow into a great brand originally more than six decades ago which is customization, quality and a flame-grilled burger.

“That has been the pillar of the growth. The other key pillar of the growth has been making a difference in our community which is another part of our mission,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of things, particularly I would say in the last two years, to really amplify that part of our strategy.”

It’s donated to the food banks in Canada. By the end of this year, it will have planted 84,000 trees in the country to reduce the carbon footprint. Almost all the packaging is made using recycled materials. It also sources primarily Canadian ingredients where it can. The Harvey’s RV has also been driving across Canada giving away burgers to frontline workers throughout the pandemic. And it has raised money for youth hockey and supported the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Interview with Giant Tiger’s New CEO Gino DiGioacchino on the Future of the Iconic Canadian Retailer [Interview]

DiGioacchino speaks to Retail Insider after being appointed as the new President and CEO of Giant Tiger, and discusses the future of the business and importance of maintaining strong connections with local communities.

Purdys Chocolatier Expands Footprint with Pop-Up Stores [Interview]

The strategy involves providing customers with a taste of Purdys' renowned chocolates in areas where the brand hasn't had a presence before.

Colliers Report Emphasizes the Retail Advantage of Bridging the Digital-Physical Divide [Interview]

A recent report by Colliers Real Estate Management Services reveals that retailers who effectively blend their online and physical store operations are 35% more likely to achieve profitability, with the study emphasizes the importance of omnichannel strategies, convenience, property maintenance, and retailer-driven ESG initiatives.

Preview of ICSC@CANADA Conference 2023: Retail, Technology, and Networking Opportunities in Toronto [Interview]

Craig and Kyle Tomlin, Director of Events in Canada for ICSC, discuss the highly anticipated ICSC@CANADA 2023 conference, set to take place from October 2nd to 4th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Hall in downtown Toronto.

Canadian Grocers Take a Page from Carrefour’s Playbook to Tackle ‘Shrinkflation [Op-Ed]

French supermarket chain Carrefour has labeled products impacted by reduced size, and similar measures may be adopted in Canada to enhance transparency in food pricing, says Sylvain Charlebois.

Jeweller Mejuri Debuts Personalized App and Innovative Membership Program; Plans Expansion with 5 New Stores [Co-Founder Interview]

The popular brand's personalized mobile app and membership program aim to enhance customer engagement and personalization, as Mejuri enters major markets with stores.

Fast-Casual Restaurant Concept MightyBird Opening 1st Location in Toronto in a Partnership [Interviews]

The new concept at Union Station will be the first of many in a partnership between Eat Up Canada and Open Concept Hospitality.

KIT + ACE Launches Store Expansion in Canada Under New Ownership [Interview]

The Vancouver-based retailer will open two locations this fall in Toronto and Calgary, with plans for a substantial expansion into 2024 says CEO David Lui.

Casual Steakhouse Chain MR MIKES Expanding Further in Canada [Interview]

With plans for continued expansion into Western Canada and Ontario, the restaurant chain is evolving its concept and targeting smaller markets to establish itself as a hub for local communities.

Canadian Retail Sales: A Slight Recovery Amidst Economic Challenges [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

The analysis explores the noteworthy trends in the health and wellness sector, the resilience of certain retail categories, and the impending holiday season's strategic considerations for retailers.

Bloor Street Retail Transformation: Luxury Brands, Renovations, and New Openings in Toronto [Podcast]

Craig and Lee take a deep dive into the dynamic changes occurring on Toronto's Bloor Street West, noting the street's resurgence as a thriving hub for luxury shopping in the city.

Ricardo’s Kandy Korner to Open Flagship Candy Store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto [Interview]

Entrepreneur Ricardo Rizaie says he’s planning to take his experiential candy retail concept across Canada after opening a third Canadian storefront in downtown Toronto.