Jersey Mike's inks deal for cross-Canada expansion

The sub chain has signed on Taco Bell and Burger King franchisee Redberry Restaurants to lead the charge, with a goal of adding 300 stores north of the border during the next decade.
Jersey Mike's is pushing abroad. | Photo: Shutterstock

A franchisee of Taco Bell and Burger King has agreed to spearhead expansion of the Jersey Mike’s Subs chain into Canada, with a deal to develop at least 300 stores there by 2034.

The deal represents the first major expansion of fast-growing Jersey Mike’s beyond the United States.

As the American sandwich chain’s area director for Canada, Ontario-based Redberry Restaurants said it will operate some of the Jersey Mike’s units itself and sub-franchise the brand to others.

The deal also calls for Redberry to purchase and renovate Jersey Mike’s two units north of the border, in Kitchener and London. Redberry agreed to begin its development blitz with the opening of five stores in Ontario this year.

Redberry currently operates about 180 fast-food restaurants under the brand names of Taco Bell and Burger King. Including the 300 Jersey Mike’s units it pledged to open, the company has 600 restaurants under development in total within Canada.

“We’re thrilled that Jersey Mike’s entrusted us with bringing their iconic brand to Canada,” Ken Otto, Redberry’s CEO, said in announcing the deal. “We resonated strongly with their culture, product and mission.”

Redberry said it will look to expand the sandwich concept across all of Canada’s provinces.

Jersey Mike’s has been adding about 300 stores per year within the U.S., making it one of the industry’s fastest-growing domestic brands.

In an interview last year with Restaurant Business, founder and CEO Peter Cancro revealed that he plans to expand the chain beyond the U.S., and said his preference was to find partners and locations in English-speaking countries.

It has also been looking for a second concept that would provide Jersey Mike’s U.S. franchisees with an additional engine of growth.

Founded in 1956 and sold to Cancro when he was just 17, Jersey Mike’s currently has 3,000 restaurants open or under development. It ranked 32nd on Technomic’s list of the U.S. industry’s Top 500 restaurant chains.

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