Foodtastic is partnering with QSRP to bring at least 50 O’Tacos locations to Canada beginning later this year.
QSRP owns the O’Tacos brand which was founded in 2007 in France and currently has more than 300 locations.
In return, QSRP will expand the Pita Pit brand, owned by Footdtastic, in France and Western Europe by opening 50 Pita Pits. There are also more than 300 Pita Pit locations overall.
“QSRP is one of the fastest growing and leading operations in France and Western Europe, we look forward to working closely with them on this bilateral initiative to expand O’Tacos in Canada and Pita Pit in France and Western Europe,” said Peter Mammas, CEO of Foodtastic.
“Foodtastic has proven to be a leading operator in Canada and is therefore the perfect partner to expand the O’Tacos brand in North America. There are no limits to our hunger to keep on developing our brands, focusing on innovation, creating new partnerships where our guest is always in the centre of our mind,” said Alessandro Preda, CEO of QSRP.
Mammas said the O’Tacos brand is one of the most popular quick service restaurants in France.
“It’s owned by a company called QSRP which is also the largest Burger King franchisee in Europe. They bought this brand a couple of years ago and they doubled its size within 36 months,” said Mammas.
“It’s kind of a take of a mix of burrito and taco. It’s something in France that’s very popular called a French taco. So basically they fill a burrito with creamy cheese inside and it’s been a runaway hit, especially with students and people on the go.”
Foodtastic owns 23 different brands.
“The first one they (QSRP) are going to take is Pita Pit and hopefully if the deal between us goes well, they’ll long board some more of our brands for Europe,” said Mammas.
He said the hope is to have the first O’Tacos location open by late this year.
“We’re going to concentrate basically in Quebec and then we’re going to move out West towards Ontario. But I think the major core is Quebec and Ontario for right now,” said Mammas.
There could also be potential for future growth, he said, if the concept takes off like it did in France.
“It’s something that’s completely different. I think here in North America people are used to burritos more like Quesada or Chipotle. It’s going to have to take some learnings. That’s why we’re going to start in Quebec because Quebec is very tied to France. They kind of know a lot of the brands there. So it’s just easier for us to launch here. And we’ll go to Gatineau and right after Gatineau we’ll step over into Ottawa and then move down towards Toronto.”
Mammas said the Canadian locations will be a mixture of pickup and delivery (about 800 square feet) and some with seating of up to 1,500-1,700 square feet.
“It’s more street level. To start off we’re going to target a lot of the colleges and universities. That’s where it seems it’s done the best in France. So we’ll start off with that and then we’ll probably do some more high traffic locations. But mostly street,” he said.
Foodtastic is one of those companies that may fly under the radar a bit, but their growth strategy is outstanding. 23 brands is almost unbelievable, yet each manages to carve out a different niche. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Foodtastic one day take on Eataly in Canada with their own homegrown food halls.