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Redberry Announces Plans to Open Hundreds of Restaurants in Canada Under Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Banners [Interview]

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Ontario-based Redberry Restaurants is planning a massive expansion across Canada of its quick service brands which include Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

Founded in 2005, Redberry is one of Canada’s largest QSR restaurant franchisees, owning and operating 135 Burger Kings, 14 Taco Bells and 24 Pizza Huts across the country. In 2019, it was purchased by Chicago-based City Capital Ventures.

Ken Otto

“We have a very exciting journey ahead of us,” said Ken Otto, CEO of Redberry which is based in Mississauga.

Image: Burger King Canada

“With Burger King, we have definitive agreements to build 120 more Burger Kings in the next seven years. That’s going to be a combination of about 50 stores to be built in Quebec and the others divided between Ontario and Manitoba. We also have an agreement with Burger King to renovate and fully remodel 54 more Burger Kings in the next three years and that’s on top of about 15 remodels that we did in 2022.

“For Taco Bell, we have an agreement to build 200 Taco Bells in Canada in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC over the next seven years. And we’ve completed two big remodels of very old Taco Bells.

“With Pizza Hut, we’ll be opening up three Pizza Huts in 2023 in and around Calgary and that’s the extent of our development with Pizza Hut.”

Otto said Burger King is one of the world’s best QSR burger brands. 

Their “intensity of presence” in Canada is very low. So there’s plenty of opportunity for Whopper lovers, especially in Ontario and Quebec, to experience the brand.

“We operate 135 Burger Kings. We’re very pleased with their performance. We’re very pleased with the brand and the franchisor and the level of support. And just the power of the Burger King brand internationally, in the US and in Canada,” he said. “And we see just a whole bunch of opportunity for more Burger Kings in lots of communities across the country.

“Taco Bell again is one of the world’s best brands – 7,000 plus restaurants in the US and lots of growth internationally. Very relevant with the new consumer in QSR. And there’s not a lot of Taco Bells in Canada. There’s only 50 freestanding Taco Bells in the whole country. There’s 150 some odd Taco Bells as part of malls or part of Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell combos. And the portfolio of Taco Bells that we operate – the 14 stores – are very successful, very good sales, excellent margins. So we see just massive opportunity for that brand in Canada in the next seven years and ultimately more after that.”

Image: Redberry Restaurants

In early December, Redberry had a grand re-opening of Canada’s first-ever Burger King location in Windsor, Ontario. Located at 2850 Tecumseh Rd. E, Windsor, this inaugural Burger King first opened its doors in September 1969 and was recently completely renovated to include a new interior, an outdoor digital menu board in the Drive-Thru, and a modern new exterior. The overall design is focused on flexibility, innovation, and convenience to enhance the guest experience.

“This is a special location for both Burger King and Redberry, and we’re incredibly proud of the work that has gone into this renovation,” said Matt Wright, General Manager of Burger King Canada, at the time. “The guest experience is at the forefront of everything we do, and this design concept takes into consideration how our guests interact with Burger King, making the ordering and dining experience easier and more enjoyable.”

“Redberry is thrilled to accelerate both new unit growth and remodels for the Burger King brand. This remodel is especially dear to us,” said Otto. “As Canada’s first-ever Burger King it was incredibly important for us to make this renovation a standout. There have been a lot of memories over the years at this first-ever Burger King, and this renovation sets the restaurant up for years of future enjoyment.”

Otto said Redberry’s vision is based on partnering with world-class QSR brands that have plenty of runway to grow in Canada.

“We’re always talking. We’re always looking. But we’re very happy with the three brands we have now. Will there be one or two more in Redberry’s future? Maybe, but nothing now.”

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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