Through this post, we’ll explore and discover The Best 15 Pizza Restaurant Chains in Canada and What technologies worked for them?
According to many etymologists, the word ‘Pizza’ comes from the Latin word pinsere (or the dialectical pinza), meaning stamp or pound. Though Italians have enjoyed this delicious comfort food for many centuries, it was not after World War II that it became popular in the US. Today, Americans consume approximately 350 slices of pizza each second, and the global market for pizza is expected to cross $14 billion in 2022.
Be it for convenience, comfort, quick delivery, or the sheer delight of having one, pizzas have captured the world’s fascination, creating loyalists around the globe. Another North American country that shares this fascination is Canada, where pizza consumption is among the highest in the world—just behind the US and Italy. In fact, Canada is also the birthplace of Hawaiian pizza, which Sam Panopoluos first created in Ontario in 1962.
Canada has a wide range of pizzas to offer, and unlike other nations, adding pineapple toppings isn’t considered taboo here. However, the steady growth rate (4.9%) of the Canadian pizza market can be majorly attributed to a handful of popular Canadian pizza chains, which offer a great mix of variety and taste.
Through this post, we’ll explore and discover some of the major pizza chains that have contributed to the popularity of this delectable fast food in Canada over decades. So here are a few big Canadian pizzeria chain names that every pizza enthusiast should know and try.
List of Popular Canadian Pizza Chains and what worked for them?
1. 241 Pizza
This popular Canadian pizzeria chain is known for its quick serving style and is headquartered in Scarborough, Ontario. 241 pizza was founded in 1986 in Toronto and currently has 62 outlets in Ontario. It was previously owned by Tom Michalopoulos and was acquired by Chairman’s Brand Corp. in 2006. This Canadian fast food chain also has a pizza-ordering website and is one of the best pizza chains to visit for hot wings and fresh pizza slices.
2. Boston Pizza
Also known as Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar outside Canada, this multinational Canadian pizzeria chain has branches all over the United States and Mexico. Boston’s journey began in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964, and it is known mainly for its varieties of pizza, pasta, hamburgers, and ribs. By 1995, this Canadian fast food chain had 95 restaurants in Western Canada with sales of over $110 million CAD.
Apart from having a pizzeria website in English and French, Boston Pizza has invested early in pizza ordering app development. It also has attractive membership plans, which allow users to avail of exclusive and tasty offers. It is currently co-owned by Jim Treliving, George Melville, and the Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund.
Also Read: How to Rebrand Your Restaurant Business While Maintaining Market Recognition
3. Freshslice Pizza
This Canadian pizza chain and franchise was founded in 1999 by Ray Russel. Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, this Canadian fast-food chain has won several awards and accolades in its 23-year-old journey, which includes a Golden Plate Award for best pizza by the slice in 2014 and 2015.
The Freshslice franchise owns 77 branches in Canada, where the investment per restaurant ranges between $130,000 and $360,000. Though Freshslice offers online pizza ordering via their website, they are yet to join the mobile app bandwagon.
4. Gabriel Pizza
One of the best pizza chains on this list, Gabriel Pizza was founded in February 1977 by Michael Hanna. Gabriel Pizza topped Ottawa’s best pizza list in 2011 and has enjoyed a loyal fan following for decades. This Canadian fast food chain has stores located in Brockville, Ottawa, Kingston, Emburn, Rockland, Kanata and Kentsville. Gabriel Pizza hopped on the path of restaurant chain digitization pretty early and offers both dine-in and quick service delivery facilities through its website and mobile app.
5. Greco Pizza Restaurant
This pizza chain claims to be the largest pizza chain restaurant of Atlantic Canada with over 100 outlets in Eastern Canada itself. The first restaurant of Greco Pizza opened in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1977, and its franchise rights were sold in 1981 to Grinner’s Food Systems.
This Canadian pizza chain has marketed itself brilliantly since 1995 using it is famous ‘three one oh, three oh, three oh’ jingle — which also made its telephone number (310-30-30) iconic. Greco Pizza Restaurant offers several lip-smacking varieties of pizza, oven subs, donairs, and garlic fingers through its mobile apps and website.
Also Read: How to start an online food delivery business in Canada
6. King of Donair
Often abbreviated as KOD, this Canadian pizzeria chain has a cult following and has been featured in National Geographic, Trailer Park Boys, The Travel Channel, and The Food Network. King of Donair was established in Halifax, Nova, by Peter Gamoulakos in 1973 and became hugely popular after that in the region. Donair was named the official food of Halifax in 2015. Although King of Donair has a pizza-ordering website, it does not have a mobile app yet.
In addition to being one of the most popular chain restaurants in the country, KOD has been used by several celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain, Dominique Crenn, and Andrew Zimmern for filming. King of Donair has also grabbed the ‘Best Donair’ title from The Coast’s Best of Halifax Reader’s Choice Award for 14 out of 19 years!
7. Mikes Restaurant
This Canadian fast food chain is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, and has 70 restaurants in eastern Canada. This Canadian pizzeria chain was established in 1967 and is presently owned by the Imvescor Restaurant Group. The restaurant chain is well-known for its pizza, pasta, and submarines. Though it has a dedicated pizza delivery website, Mikes is yet to develop a dedicated app with a online pizza menu.
8. Mother’s Pizza
Also known as ‘Mother’s Pizza Parlour and Spaghetti House,’ this chain restaurant was a revival of a 1970s fast food chain of the same name. After being reestablished in 2013, the Canadian pizzeria chain has its presence in 120 locations in the UK, Canada, and the US.
Mother’s Pizza is known for its parlor-style pizza, big mugs, and nostalgic decor. It only allows for online pizza ordering via its website but lacks a mobile app.
Panago is a privately-owned pizza takeout and delivery chain that the Rooke Family established in 1986. This Canadian pizzeria chain offers more than 30 types of pizza and allows customers to create and customize their pizza.
Panago has received several awards for restaurant chain digitization and store modernization. It is highly regarded for its community contributions, sustainable packaging, and nutritionally-responsible approach. In addition to a website, the brand also invested in pizza ordering app development to improve the user-experience and convenience of their customers.
10. Pizza 73
Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, this Canadian pizzeria chain has expanded to 89 outlets since its creation in 1985. Pizza 73 was founded by David Tougas and Guy Goodwin, and its name originates from its first phone number (473-73-73). The company introduced online pizza delivery in 1995 and is regarded as one of the best-managed services in Canada. It was also Alberta's first delivery chain restaurant that allowed customers to order meals via a mobile food delivery app.
11. Pizza Delight
Pizza Delight was founded in Shediac, New Brunswick, in 1968 by Allard Robichaud and Leandre Bourque. The Canadian fast food chain has over 95 restaurants operating in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, which employ over 3500 staff. Pizza Delight acquired some popular chain restaurants since the year 2000, which include Mikes, Baton Rogue, and Scores. This led to restaurant chain digitization which paved the way for better customer satisfaction and easy accessibility through their Restaurant Website and app for pickup and delivery of food orders for their different restaurant locations across the country.
12. Pizza Nova
This Canadian fast food chain was founded by Sam Primucci in 1963 and is headquartered in Scarborough, Toronto. It currently serves more than 140 locations in Canada and offers a selection of signature pizzas, sandwiches, chicken wings, and panzerotti on its pizzeria website and iOS app. Pizza Nova also has a popular jingle, ‘4-3-9-Oh Oh Oh Oh,’ which highlights its phone number.
13. Pizza Pizza
This quick-service Canadian pizzeria chain is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, and currently serves over 500 locations across Canada. Pizza Pizza was founded by Micheal Overs in 1963 and expanded significantly in the 2000s. The restaurant chain has won the 2011 Webby Award for best pizza ordering app development, much to the delight of its fans.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Fast Food Restaurants Near Me in Toronto
Pizzalio offers American-style pizza in its 43 restaurants spread over the Greater Toronto Area. This chain restaurant was created in Molise, Italy, in the 1940s by Nonna Ida and Nonno Guiseppe. Pizzalio means ‘pizza maker’ in Italian and has a range of tasty pizzas available through their pizzeria website.
15. Topper’s Pizza
The journey of Topper’s Pizza began in 1982 in Ontario, Canada, through its founder Ronald Toppazzini. It presently has over 35 restaurants in Ontario that offer takeaway and online pizza ordering for its delectable offerings like TopperSticks, Topperotties, and wings.
Canada has much to offer in terms of pizza varieties and Italian foods. However, the growth of any chain restaurant business today depends on the technology used and the user experience it offers. Thus, if you are keen to open a restaurant franchise or restaurant in Canada (or anywhere else), you must consider an excellent digital platform for restaurant chains.
Investing in top restaurant software can pay significant dividends over the years and can facilitate smooth restaurant expansion and brand loyalty. In addition, it can allow you to be in touch with your existing customers and serve them much better, helping your pizzeria business to succeed and thrive.