Ottawa’s Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery to open first locations in the GTA

February 27, 2020

   Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery is living up to its name, with big plans to grow in new markets across the country. First up, an exciting new location set to open mid-May at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga, Ont., followed by another in Richmond Hill, Ont.
The Greater Toronto Area debut marks the company’s first locations outside of its hometown and it’s just the beginning.   
Founded in the nation’s capital in 2012, Big Rig Restaurants is an iconic Ottawa brand, famous for its brews and menu (the name pays tribute to former Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips). Its brand promise is simple: “We are a microbrewery; committed to serving the best beer and a menu of comfort food favorites!”   
It’s been a great ride for Big Rig. In 2014, it built a state-of-the-art brewery to expand the distribution of the beer into retail outlets. Today, Big Rig’s award-winning beer is available in more than 1,000 locations in several provinces.   
In June 2019, Foodtastic Inc., the Quebec-based franchisor of multiple restaurant concepts, acquired the Big Rig Brewery and Big Rig Restaurants brand.   
As part of the deal with Foodtastic, award-winning brew master Lon Ladell stayed on board and continues to work his magic. "Foodtastic is an amazing company and I'm thrilled to continue being a part of Big Rig brewery's exciting future,” Ladell said at the time.  “With the financial support from Foodtastic we can now expand our operations throughout Canada.”   
And that’s exactly what they are doing.   
Foodtastic, which already operates 90 restaurants under 12 different banners, including Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Benny Rotisseries, Blossom, Gatto Matto, Monza, Carlos & Pepe's, Chocolato, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, and Bacaro, is a leader in the restaurant franchising business with $170 million in annualized sales.   
The company recently acquired two Les 3 Brasseurs sites—Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga and York Boulevard. in Richmond Hill—renovations are underway to turn both into Big Rig locations.   
This is the first step in a larger plan to aggressively expand the Big Rig brand throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver.    
This is in keeping with Foodtastic’s vision for the brand and its mandate to ramp up growth with new and existing brands following a $47-million investment from Restaurant Royalty Partners in December 2018.   
Following the Big Rig acquisition, Peter Mammas, Foodtastic president and CEO, said: “We look forward to preserving Big Rig's strong brand, while growing the restaurant system across the region… This acquisition of a homegrown Ontario business is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality brands with growth potential that complement our existing brand portfolio.”   
Since then, growth has been on the menu. With Big Rig, the search is on for 5,500-sq.-ft. locations with 1,200-sq.-ft. patios in malls, along busy high streets and in large open-air centres.   
Think Retail is thrilled to work with the Foodtastic team as it grows the Big Rig brand in new markets. For more information about these visionary industry players, visit the Foodtastic and Big Rig websites or contact the Think Retail team.