Thank you for attending the 11th annual Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit, brought to you by CWB Franchise Finance.

Over 450 industry leaders came together November 1-4, to discuss the future of foodservice in Canada. Session recordings are now available to watch below.

Thank you to all of our speakers and sponsors for their contributions and making this year’s Summit possible.

We hope to see you next year, in person!

Join the 2022 mailing list 



The Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit is the annual business conference that brings the industry’s leaders together.

Entering its 11th year, restaurant owners, operators, chain executives, franchisors, franchisees, investors, lenders, and key suppliers from across the country agree that this is the event that delivers what they need – new insights, timely data, and networking opportunities – to help prepare for the future.

The 2021 Summit will continue in a virtual format, making it accessible for everyone across Canada to attend.

Join us November 1-4, 2021
for Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit Week!

During the week of November 1st, we will host a series of complimentary Summit sessions focusing on the industry's most topical issues. CEOs and executives from leading brands along with industry experts, will share their perspectives on the future of the foodservice industry in Canada.

Connect, network, and share ideas on the virtual event platform. This is an event you won’t want to miss.


All attendees will receive a complimentary digital copy of the 2021 Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review – a comprehensive analysis and factual overview of market shares, revenue trends, costs, consumer behaviours, and the overall state of chain foodservice industry in Canada. The Review is a collaborative effort between CWB Franchise Finance, fsSTRATEGY, and The NPD Group Canada.

2021 Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit Week
November 1-4, 2021
Click the Register button in the navigation menu

The Foodservice State of the Nation
November 1 @ 1:00pm ET

The restaurant industry has seen tremendous innovation and creativity, as well as disruption over the last 18 months. What is the current state of the foodservice industry and what does the future look like coming out of the pandemic?

Join us on Monday, November 1st as we kick-off the 11th annual Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit with the Foodservice State of the Nation presentation.

For the seventh consecutive year, The NPD Group and CWB Franchise Finance will explore consumer, economic and financial trends, and how they are impacting the restaurant industry. During this presentation they will cover:

  • Canadian foodservice industry sales and traffic
  • Consumer behaviours and attitudes
  • New industry trends
  • The economy, markets, and key financial trends
  • The outlook for the future
Watch Replay


Jacob Mancini - AVP Restaurants & Breweries<br>CWB Franchise Finance

Jacob Mancini

AVP Restaurants & Breweries
CWB Franchise Finance

Vince Sgabellone - Industry Analyst, Canada Foodservice<br>The NPD Group

Vince Sgabellone

Industry Analyst, Canada Foodservice
The NPD Group

The CEO Panel – Innovative Brands
November 2 @ 1:00pm ET

Join us on Tuesday, November 2nd for a conversation with Canadian restaurant CEOs from innovative and up-and-coming foodservice brands.

These creative entrepreneurs will discuss their experiences and journeys through the industry, how they have evolved their brands, the lessons they’ve learned along the way, and provide insights on the future of the restaurant industry.

The panelists will cover a range of topics including:

  • The evolution of the restaurant industry
  • Building a brand, a culture, and a following
  • The convergence of different business models
  • Building a team and environment for long term success
Watch Replay


Mandy Wolfe - Chef and Co-Owner<br>Mandy's Gourmet Salads

Mandy Wolfe

Chef and Co-Owner
Mandy's Gourmet Salads

Ryan Moreno - CEO<br>Joseph Richard Group

Ryan Moreno

Joseph Richard Group

James McInnes - Co-Founder & CEO<br>Odd Burger

James McInnes

Co-Founder & CEO
Odd Burger

Court Desautels - CEO & Group Leader<br>Neighbourhood Group of Companies

Court Desautels

CEO & Group Leader
Neighbourhood Group of Companies


Todd Barclay - CEO<br>Restaurants Canada

Todd Barclay

Restaurants Canada

Session # 1

Labour & Technology Panel

November 3 @ 1:00pm ET

Labour has always been top-of-mind for restaurant leaders; however, the pandemic has caused a whole new set of challenges. With short term impacts on labour supply due to government programs and long term impacts due to employees shifting to other sectors and reduced attraction due to volatility, what does the future look like? How is this going to change the operational design, job design, and automation of operations and hiring and recruiting?

Join us on Wednesday, November 3rd to hear operators, tech experts, and industry leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities of a tight labour market. They will share best practices, innovative ideas, and different technologies available to help navigate the current labour issues and as we look forward. Topics will include:

  • The status of the workforce
  • Innovative ideas around attracting and recruiting workers
  • New ideas to drive engagement and retention
  • Using technology to recruit, train, pay, and communicate with employees
  • Redesigning your operations with a smaller workforce
Watch Replay


Julie Denton - Chief People Officer<br>Recipe Unlimited Corporation

Julie Denton

Chief People Officer
Recipe Unlimited Corporation

Jordan Boesch - CEO<br>7shifts

Jordan Boesch


Jack Scarangella - President<br>Mercatto

Jack Scarangella


Martin Mathe - Co-Founder<br>AppyHere

Martin Mathe



Philip Mondor  - President and CEO<br>Tourism HR Canada

Philip Mondor

President and CEO
Tourism HR Canada

Session # 2

M&A, Finance, and Capital Panel

November 3 @ 2:00pm ET

Mergers and Acquisitions have been a growing topic of conversation in the Canadian restaurant industry for several years now, but the challenges and opportunities over the last 18 months have given new life to the discussions. Whether a buyer or a seller, brand owners have been given the opportunity to explore new growth, consolidation, and diversification strategies in a market environment that has never been seen before in Canada.

Join us on Wednesday, November 3rd to hear the perspectives from lenders, investors, and brand owners as they discuss:

  • The outlook for acquisitions coming out of the pandemic
  • Recent M&A activity
  • Supply and demand for restaurant chains
  • The changing consumer and the impact on the market
  • Different levels of capital
  • Private equity transactions
  • The future of financing
Watch Replay


Trish Halliwell - Senior Manager, Restaurant Finance<br>CWB Franchise Finance

Trish Halliwell

Senior Manager, Restaurant Finance
CWB Franchise Finance

Steve Pelton - CEO<br>Aegis Brands

Steve Pelton

Aegis Brands

Paul Hamam - Partner & Senior Managing Director<br>Deloitte

Paul Hamam

Partner & Senior Managing Director


Mickey Lungu - Partner<br>Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Mickey Lungu

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Session # 1

Ghost Kitchens and Virtual Concepts

November 4 @ 1:00pm ET

As the industry continues to evolve and innovate, one thing is for sure, the ghost kitchen and virtual restaurant model is here to stay. With advantages like lower operational costs, more efficiencies, and the ability to experiment and test the market – it’s no wonder this trend continues to grow.

Join us on Thursday, November 4th to hear from experienced restaurant operators and industry experts as they discuss how to build success and growth through ghost kitchens and virtual concepts. During this session they will cover:

  • The economics of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants
  • How to increase efficiencies and streamline operations for growth
  • Best practices for marketing virtual brands
  • The impact of real estate, locations, and restaurant design
  • Technology integration in virtual concepts
Watch Replay


George Kottas - Founder & CEO<br>Ghost Kitchen Brands

George Kottas

Founder & CEO
Ghost Kitchen Brands

Lola Kassim - Director & General Manager <br>Uber Eats Canada

Lola Kassim

Director & General Manager
Uber Eats Canada

Hemant Bhagwani - Principal, Goa Indian Farm Kitchen I Good Karma I Amaya I Popa I Bombay Snack Bar I Bombay Frankie

Hemant Bhagwani

Principal, Goa Indian Farm Kitchen I Good Karma I Amaya I Popa I Bombay Snack Bar I Bombay Frankie


Jeff Dover - Principal<br>fsSTRATEGY Inc.

Jeff Dover


Session # 2

Innovations in Restaurant Development

November 4 @ 2:00pm

Over the last year and a half, restaurant owners have demonstrated their creativity and nimbleness, shifting the design and layouts of their spaces in the face of demand and operational upheavals. From increasing outdoor dining, drive-thrus, and takeaway windows to reconfiguring dining rooms, incorporating retail space, and implementing new kitchen technology, the physical space is continuously evolving. Which trends are here to stay and what does the future look like for restaurant development?

Join us on Thursday, November 4th to hear from experts in construction, design, and kitchen technology, as they discuss creative ideas and innovations in restaurant development and remodeling. During this session they will discuss:

  • Trends in restaurant construction and factors influencing restaurant design
  • Permanent shifts in brand store prototypes
  • Impacts by segment
  • Innovations in kitchen equipment and adoption of operations improving technologies
  • How the physical space is evolving to address consumer demands, labour shortages, and real estate availabilities
Watch Replay


Mary Chiarot - VP & General Manager<br>Garland Canada

Mary Chiarot

VP & General Manager
Garland Canada

Craig Stanghetta - Principal, Creative Director<br>Ste. Marie

Craig Stanghetta

Principal, Creative Director
Ste. Marie

Shon Jones-Parry - Director of Operations<br>The Broadview Hotel | Gladstone House

Shon Jones-Parry

Director of Operations
The Broadview Hotel | Gladstone House


Andrew Neilson - Director of Sales, Strategic Accounts Central & Eastern Canada<br>Foodbuy

Andrew Neilson

Director of Sales, Strategic Accounts Central & Eastern Canada

Thank you to our sponsors

for making the 2021

Canadian Restaurant

Investment & Leadership

Summit Week possible!

Media Partner

Premier Research Sponsor

Contributing Partner, Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review

CWB Franchise Finance has been hosting the Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit since 2010 and is honoured to continue to bring the industry together with this conference.

The members of the CWB Franchise Finance team are experts in providing both corporate franchisor and franchisee-level financing for prominent restaurant brands and leading hotel owners in Canada. We believe in getting to know the operations, opportunities, and challenges of each of our clients so we are able to provide them with customized, flexible financing solutions that will help them achieve their business goals. CWB Franchise Finance is a division of Canadian Western Bank.