Selecting the Ideal Location for a Canadian Restaurant Franchise

 Location, Location, Location:

The old real estate adage of “location, location, location” still holds true in today’s market, and is one of the most crucial aspects to focus on when opening any new business, including a franchised restaurant. Finding the perfect location is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have a background in developing properties for various commercial purposes.

Is Amazon Killing Brick and Mortar?

Although the “Amazons” of the online marketplaces are becoming more successful everyday, the reality is that 94% of all retail sales are still conducted in physical locations. These online transaction trends are having a stronger impact on some industries more than others and luckily for those of us in the restaurant industry, consumers are eating out more than ever.

In Canada, the amount spent at restaurants has increased for 25 years straight, even during periods where the entire economy has struggled, such as 2008. The restaurant industry's growth has been double the rate of inflation, and shows no signs of slowing down as North America has fully adopted a culture where eating outside of the home is a “norm”.

Who is Your Customer?

Just like any business, when you begin to consider locations for your franchised restaurant, the first thing you need to do is fully understand who your target customer is. One of the greatest benefits of becoming a franchisee, especially with the Joey’s Group, is that you gain invaluable data, training and advice from “head office”. In the case of Joey’s, our typical customer enjoys “fast casual dining”, where they don’t receive full table service, but they do demand a higher quality of food and typically look to avoid high quantities of processed or frozen ingredients. These customers favour freshness and appreciate contemporary space designs.

Regardless of the style of restaurant, it is paramount to understand what your target customers enjoy, where they like to spend their time, what their spending habits are, and where they live and work. If you understand these fundamental data points, you can then narrow down your location search to capitalize on the wants and needs of your ideal client.

Remember, you cannot succeed as a brick and mortar style business unless you are physically in the location where the right customers can walk into your business and consume your offering.

Cheaper is Not Always Better

Being financially savvy and controlling your spending are two great pathways that can lead to a successful and profitable franchise. However, when you are selecting a location, you must proceed cautiously and ensure that you are spending enough to secure a property that will bring you immediate and long term success. It may be tempting to take a risk on a cheaper building that is “past it’s prime” or on a location that is slightly off the beaten path, opposed to an ideal location in a developed, busy area.

Many believe that if they perfect their operations and advertise effectively, the customers will come to them! Sadly, this strategy is rarely successful.

Analyze Competition

Instead, start by investigating some of your competitors in town. Take note of how busy they are, during all months of the year. Have they been around for a long time? Is there further development taking place nearby to these locations? If you have a very busy competitor, that has been popular for quite some time, in an area that is continuing to grow, you may have discovered the ideal location to place your franchise.

If you find an area that is extremely popular, with high amounts of consumer traffic, it is important to ensure that the customers in that area fit the description of your target customers. For example, a certain location may be extremely busy, but the majority of consumers there are visiting McDonalds, Burger King, and a discount grocery store. We have already determined that a Joey’s customer likely avoids large amounts of processed foods, so if they favor fast food chains, they may not be a great fit for your future restaurant. This is a great lesson to learn when analyzing traffic. Plentiful foot traffic does not necessarily translate into a concentration of consumers that will purchase your offering.

On the other hand, if an area has another “fast casual restaurant” that is bustling all year long, this is a great indicator that a restaurant like Joey’s might flourish here. One fast casual restaurant that is consistently at capacity is a great sign, however if there are already three or four restaurants of this style in the area, the local market could be saturated and may not bring long term success.

 Additional Considerations with Location

If you are narrowing in on a potential location, it’s a great idea to spend some time pounding the pavement in the surrounding area and get a feel for the neighbourhood. Is it easy for customers that are driving by to navigate into your location? Is parking a major concern? Are there any additional activities or festivals that happen in the area that could add or pull traffic from your business?

Again, this is where the experiences of a great franchise group can make the difference. Many of our owners and managers have been through all the situations and experiences you may be trying to visualize. A few strategic questions sent their way can be the difference of a flawless grand opening or a franchise that never gets off the ground.

Have a location in mind that you believe would be perfect to create the next Joey’s Restaurant or Joey’s Urban? Contact our franchise team today and ask for your free information package that will outline exactly what your future as a franchise owner may look like!

A little extra effort, makes the difference

As the title says- a little extra effort, makes the difference. This statement first came to me from the Penticton Knights. They were a junior hockey club playing in the old BCJHL that used this as their slogan for a few years. In fact, I still have a sticker on my skates from back in the day (circa 86-87′) with the logo and slogan.

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I was inspired by this quote again this morning from a story on Inspire More of a Sherwood Park woman who left her car after a night of drinking at a local establishment. The manager of the establishment left a note on her car and thanked her for not drinking and driving and gave her a coupon to return. An absolute genius idea that everyone should be doing. Not only does it promote the public safety aspect but it does something far more important for the business. It creates loyalty and in this particular case, a viral social media posting for the company involved. Which all came from a GM with a policy for caring and wee bit of opportunism.

So, what are you doing to create this type of environment in your establishment? What are you teaching you staff? What are you doing for your clientele that make them inherently feel loyal to you? You can use words like value, or service, but neither of those create loyalty. Loyalty is created, by a mutual respect between the client and the provider of the service/product, employer/employee, husband/wife, child/parent. It is about building relationships that are mutually beneficial to both parties. Treating people with respect goes a long way in business and when you actually care about your clientele, it’s that little extra effort that makes the difference.

Here is the link to the original article here.


Hospitality in Franchising is just SMARTICLE.


Yes, Smarticle is a word, another Urban Dictionary find! woot woot! Actually, Smarticle was made famous by Homer Simpson and the irony within is fantastic. Ironic because Homer is a very simple man and the idea of Joy or a.k.a. smarticle is also just so very simple.

I recently spoke in one of my posts about people and their impact on business (the people post). What I did not specifically say in that post about those particular people were that one of the key things that made all of them truly great at what they do is their hospitalitude. OK, that word I totally made up, do you see it? Hospitality/Attitude. It is what I would describe as their ability to bring Joy to every guest, the ability to check their problems at the door and focus on the task at hand. To make their guests experience a truly memorable one each and every time. Dare I say, treat them like family.

I had a manager many years ago that was as hospitable as they come, a well known GM in the city who bought every customer he met a drink, always a smile, always a hand shake and always a drink to be given out. He was well liked by all of our guests. But, so was I, and I barely bought a drink for anyone. Don Cooper says in this video that its theatre and he is right, so right. My manager was great at the theatre but what I learned from this manager was that it wasn’t only theatre but respect and joy to see our guests. My manager would use his promo tab for the month in under two months, where as I would not use 10% of it in the month. Why? Because it was my genuine interactions and the joy I had in dealing with them that kept them happy. I knew their birthdays, their anniversaries, their kids names, their friends and on and on…..Joy and respect are the value added items that no one can describe, its the ingredient that keeps people coming back without them even knowing why. Yet so many refuse to use it in dealing with their clients and guests.

I challenge you to be smarticle today, bring Joy to your clients, guests, friends and family. Be joyful, you’ll be amazed what you get in return.


  • Donald Cooper, MBA, has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. He speaks and coaches internationally on marketing, management and business excellence.

Donald can be reached at in Toronto, Canada.  To read more of his articles, go to and click on “Free Articles”.



I have a friend who uses this motto, literally religiously. So when I saw a posting about being ALL IN on Linkedin I thought it would be appropriate to use my friend Michael Chiasson as my inspiration for today’s blog. Check out his amazing story here All Access Ministries.

Franchising to franchisors is about consistency in the brand and product but its also about finding that franchisee that is ALL IN.  It is hard to see success as a franchisee if you believe the franchise is the only reason people come in. Franchises drive the brand and the product, the franchisee drives the service and the atmosphere and if you are ALL In, your guest see it, hear it and support it!

At JFG were are ALL IN in supporting our partners and their success. How about you? Are you ALL IN?

Entrepreneur - The best franchise advice you'll get.

When you are looking into a franchisor the best thing to look at is the success of their partners and how they interact with them. Franchise systems are made to be simple, understandable and certainly, repeatable! I am sharing a great article by Jeff Elgin in Entrepreneur Magazine that dictates everything you should do when researching a franchise system. I encourage you to do everything he suggests and put Joey’s Franchise Group to the test!

Check out his article here: The best franchise advice you’ll get…..


At Joey's Franchise Group we are doing what we can to mitigate our impact on fisheries and ultimately our environment. Our brands Joey's Restaurants and Joey's Urban have teamed up with Ocean Wise, a Vancouver Aquarium Conservation Program, to ensure that we're on the right path to sustainability. Check it out here; Ocean Wise and Joey's

MVP Modern Barbers in Canadian Business Franchise Magazine

Take a read of this article about our Franchise Partner Jodi Tucker at our South Surrey location. Jodi worked with MVP Modern Barbers for many years in our Kelowna Franchise before shearing off to the Lower Mainland to open her own Franchise. (see what i did there! haha Shear).

MVP Modern Barbers Article in Canadian Business Franchise

New Growth - Joeys Franchise Group

The great thing about franchising is bringing on new stores. It is such an exciting time for both the Franchise Partner and the Franchisor. We are excited to announce a few new store openings  in Calgary. Two new Joeys Urban’s, one at 8118 Beddington Blvd. NW and one at 4501 17th Avenue SE . We also have a new MVP Modern Barbers in Calgary this week at 34 Edgedale Drive NW, in the community of Edgemont across from the World Health Centre.

Join us as part of one of our great franchise systems; Joeys Urban, Joeys Restaurants ,  MVP Modern BarbersHomes & Land Canada

The Common Purpose

image“Leadership begins with goals. When the followers know what the goals are, everyone understands the importance of their own role for the common purpose.”

The quote is from a former military general and he knows a little bit about the ‘common purpose’. When you are looking for a franchise system to buy into, you should be asking them the same question. What is their common purpose?

We all know it’s to make money, right? But what else do YOU value? What else are you looking for? Make sure when you are asking the Franchisor questions about their system that you include open ended questions, get them talking, learn about the people who control your fate. Can you trust them? Do you like them? Can you see yourself being their partner for ten or more years?

10 Management Lessons from 7-Eleven and Undercover Boss


With our upcoming episode on Be the Boss Canada airing May 1st, we thought we would share some management lessons fromour favorite episode of  it’s sister show Undercover Boss. (Pay close attention to #7)

As the largest convenience store chain in the world, we think of 7-Eleven as those bright little stores with drinks and snacks, not a place to gain management insight. Well, with 36,000 stores in 18 countries and over 30,000 employees to support them, the operational and organizational challenges of this unique company are extraordinary. Not only that, but the company’s owned by a Japanese holding company, it’s headquartered in Dallas, and it’s run by a West Point graduate originally from Chicago. Talk about culture clash! That said, the parent company, Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd., gives chief executive Joe DePinto (pictured) remarkably free reign. Since taking over the top job in 2005, DePinto has introduced and deployed a company-wide cultural shift based on the principals of “Servant Leadership” and “The 7-Eleven Way.”Whatever that means, it seems to be working. As evidence, here are 10 Management Lessons from this week’s Undercover Boss:

  1. Think synergy. In 1927, Joe C. Thompson, an employee of Southland Ice Company, came up with the idea to sell milk, bread, and eggs from an ice dock he managed. The ice preserved the food and, well, the rest is history. Synergy is fundamental to the 7-Eleven story.
  2. Continuous improvement is key. DePinto tells his leadership team, “I’ll be focusing on spending time in the field, where the rubber meets the road. I’m going to see what we’re not doing well, and that’s only going to make us better in the long run.” I’m sure Joe knows the Japanese word “kaizen,” which refers to the management principal of continuous improvement.
  3. A fresh set of eyes can see missed opportunities. In the show, one of the chain’s highest grossing stores had lights that had been out for some time, a potential safety hazard. Maintenance support said it could take up to a month to fix. Question: shouldn’t higher-producing stores get higher priority support?
  4. Employees can inspire management. Through his hard work, can-do attitude, and passion for the job, Igor, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who drives a distribution truck, actually inspires Joe to be a better executive.
  5. Many great leaders started at the bottom. DePinto comes from a blue-collar family. After West Point, he worked his way up at PepsiCo. My path was similar. You always hear people complaining about lack of opportunities. I think that’s a load of bull.
  6. Communications is always a challenge. Far-flung operations and thousands of franchisees compound the challenge of communicating programs and messages across a vast network of stores. During the show, one store routinely trashed day-old bakery items that were supposed to go to charity.
  7. Replicate what works. One store on Long Island sells more coffee – 2500 cups a day – than any other location. Danny, Joe’s undercover alter ego, learns that the store manager, Delores, knows virtually all her customers by name. Do you know all your customers that well? Delores Undercover Boss Segment
  8. An army runs on infrastructure and logistics. At West Point, DePinto was trained to ensure that equipment is always working and “mission ready.” Behind the scenes, 7-Eleven’s sprawling distribution and support centers and plants that make enormous amounts of perishable foods are a testament to his operational training.
  9. There are tricks to doing just about anything. On a donut production line, “Danny” couldn’t keep up with the pace of a conveyor belt until trainer Phil showed him a trick to doing it more efficiently. That’s the case with every task in business, no matter how big and strategic or small and menial.
  10. Engineers make great executives. DePinto, Larry O’Donnell fromWaste Management, and a healthy percentage of executives from the technology industry all started as engineers, as did I. Sure, I’ve known quite a few dysfunctional ones, but by and large, they make competent executives. Any ideas on why that is?