Chick-fil-A, having already conquered much of the U.S., is taking aim at Canada.
The Atlanta-based chicken chain said on Wednesday that is planning to open its first international franchise in Toronto next year and plans 15 locations in the Toronto area over the next five years.
The company says it is working to recruit owner-operators in the city, who will pay CA$15,000 for the right to operate a Chick-fil-A franchise. By comparison, the company said, other Canadian franchises require investments of CA$100,000 to CA$300,000.
The move to Toronto will be the first test of whether Chick-fil-A’s wholesome, Southern-bred concept will work outside of the U.S., where it has been one of the most successful restaurant chains in recent vintage.
Chick-fil-A system sales in the U.S. increased 14.2%, or just more than $9 billion, in 2017, according to Technomic data, making it the country’s seventh-largest restaurant chain. Unit volumes exceed $4 million despite being open just six days a week.
“Toronto is a great city, with diverse and caring people and a vibrant restaurant culture with a deep talent pool,” Tim Tassopoulos, Chick-fil-A’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
The international expansion comes just days after Chick-fil-A announced that it would test meal kits in its home market of Atlanta starting next month.