Award-winning Canadian burger bistro announces major national expansion program
TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2012
- Opportunities for The WORKS franchise stores across Canada -
TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Based on the success of its initial
expansion program, The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro (www.worksburger.com) - the award-winning gourmet burger bistro, originating in Ottawa in
2001 - has announced plans to open 50 new stores across Canada. In
2011, The WORKS opened new stores in London, Kingston, Ottawa, Guelph
and Oakville, with three additional sites currently under construction
in Toronto, Waterloo and Peterborough. With each new location
delivering strong results, The WORKS continues its aggressive expansion
plan by offering opportunities to carefully selected franchise
A strong brand concept
Developing a cult-like following among burger connoisseurs in Ottawa,
the brand roused the interest of foodservice and hospitality veteran,
Andy O'Brien, former president of Montana's, and his two vice
presidents, Bruce Miller and Sean Bell. The trio recognized the
franchising viability of the brand and acquired the WORKS Gourmet
Burger Bistro last year, with an eye towards taking the brand outside
of its native Ottawa roots.
"Having successfully led one of the largest restaurant chains in Canada,
the three of us were impressed by The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro
concept and its tremendous success in Ottawa. We jumped at the
opportunity to purchase the company," explained Andy O'Brien, CEO of
The WORKS. "Since then, the success of each new location, along with
the success of our franchisees has further enhanced our assessment of
The WORKS' prospects for growth. Accordingly, we have decided to
accelerate our expansion program to add more locations throughout
Canada," he added.
Franchisees make the brand
The cornerstone of their expansion success has hinged on finding the
ideal franchisee fit for each neighborhood location. The franchisee
selection process is rigorous, with emphasis on demonstrated passion
for satisfying customers.
"What we are really looking for are highly talented franchisees to
represent the brand," O'Brien explains. "Our potential franchisees
must have what we call the 'hospitality gene', a natural passion and
aptitude for working with people - brand ambassadors that will become
active members of their local community - that's been the foundation of
The WORKS brand since day one.
Alongside The WORKS' industry veteran co-owners, the brand is backed by
a strong Board of Directors including prominent investors, Michael
Bregman, CEO of Tailwind Capital Inc. and former owner of Second Cup,
and Ken Finkelstein, CEO of Knight's Bridge Capital Partners.
"Having enjoyed success as a food service owner and CEO of Second Cup, I
had no plans to invest in another emerging restaurant concept.
However, I found The WORKS to be irresistible," said Mr. Bregman. "The
quality of food, extraordinary culture, stellar management team and
incredible financial success of the stores have made The WORKS the most
compelling franchise opportunity that I have seen in many years," he
With a relatively affordable store opening cost of $550,000-$650,000,
strong leadership team, and impressive profitability within the booming
gourmet burger category, the success of the WORKS franchise has not
"I am completely impressed and satisfied with my experience as a
franchisee," enthused Tony Bruccoleri, owner of the Kingston location,
which opened last August. "From the outset, the WORKS team has
exceeded my expectations and made me feel like part of the family.
From staff training to operations, the support is second to none," he
About The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro
Open since 2001, the wildly popular and award winning full-service
neighbourhood bistro is known for its 68 different fresh gourmet
burgers, fresh cut fries, cool classic shakes and ice cold beer - all
freshly made from scratch on-site. The WORKS offers the ultimate
gourmet burger experience in your neighbourhood and has won multiple
awards including 'Top Tasting Burger' awards in 2011 from The Ottawa
Metro, The London Metro and The Kingstonite, as well as 'Fastest
Growing Business' from The Ottawa Business Journal from 2008-2011 and
Maclean's 'Top Employer for Small, Medium Business' in 2010. For more
information on a WORKS Franchise, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.worksburger.com. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worksburger or follow on Twitter @WORKSBURGER. The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro is a member of the Canadian Franchise
Association and the Canadian Restaurant Foodservices Association.
The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro Andy O'Brien Biography - President and CEO, Co-Owner
An Ottawa native, currently living in Oakville, Andy "Chief Burgerhead"
O'Brien first went to The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro (www.worksburger.com) in 2001 and has returned over and over again to take in a gourmet
WORKS burger - his favourite being the Cracker Jack.
O'Brien is a successful senior executive who is recognized as a leader
in the food industry, with over 20 years of experience working in the
food hospitality, food service and food retail industries around the
world. He has led, developed and grown some of the most recognizable
consumer brands, including Montana's Cookhouse Restaurant, Uncle Ben's,
Sunkist, Campbell's® Soups, Pedigree Dog Food, Lucky Charms, Nature
Valley Granola Bars, Fruit Roll-Ups snacks and Betty Crocker Desserts.
Along with business partners Bruce Miller and Sean Bell, O'Brien
reviewed over 75 restaurant concepts in Canada and chose the
award-winning, popular Ottawa-based The WORKS, acquiring it in
September 2010. As the new co-owners of The WORKS, they are excited to
expand the highly successful brand and its ultimate gourmet burger
experience to neighbourhoods across Canada.
Michael Bregman Biography
Michael Bregman is an experienced entrepreneur and community leader.
Michael earned an MBA degree at Harvard Business School and received
his undergraduate degree at The Wharton School of Business at the
University of Pennsylvania. He was formerly the Chairman and CEO of
Second Cup Ltd., Canada's leading specialty coffee retailer. Purchasing
the company for $12 million in 1988, Mr. Bregman took Second Cup public
in 1993, ultimately returning $175 million to shareholders, culminating
in the sale of the company to Cara Operations Ltd. in 2002.
Currently, Mr. Bregman is the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of
Tailwind Capital Inc., which operates an investment fund. He serves on
the Board of Directors of Clairvest Group Inc., General Donlee Canada
Inc., Ideaca Ltd., MapleMusic and The Works.
Michael has one son and three daughters. He is an active triathlete and
skier. Michael also serves various charitable organizations including
United Jewish Appeal (2002 Campaign Co-Chair), Mount Sinai Hospital
Foundation (Chairman 2002-2005; Co-Chair 2009-2010), Mount Sinai
Hospital (Vice-Chair), Birthright Israel and University of Toronto's
Rotman School (Dean's Advisory Committee). He is a 2002 recipient of
the Yakir Award.