Popular in the pizza dough-main, N.B. franchises date back 55 years
Posted on March 17, 2023 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
Whether grilling your own bread or calling 310-30-30, Atlantic Canadians are sure to have enjoyed a slice or two from Pizza Delight or Greco. While these franchises are now making dough beyond Canada’s east coast, both rose from the ground-up in New Brunswick.
The origin of Pizza Delight dates back to 1968 when Léandre Bourque and Allard Robichaud opened a small pizza take-out restaurant in Shediac, New Brunswick. One year later, the restaurant was purchased by Bernard Imbeault and two friends. Seeing a major opportunity, Imbeault began franchise and license operations for the brand to grow Pizza Delight locations across Atlantic Canada.
Greco had its beginnings in Moncton, New Brunswick, which opened as Greco Donair & Pizza Restaurant in 1977. Customers could enjoy a selection of pizzas, as well as donairs – a new product to the province. By 1981, the Greco Pizza franchise had grown to 10 locations and was acquired by Grinner’s Food Systems Ltd.
As Greco continued to grow across Atlantic Canada, it also expanded its product offerings. Although they’re now a staple on the menu, Greco’s garlic fingers surprisingly weren’t introduced until 1991. Oven-baked subs were added to the menu in 1992 and Greco’s flavoured crusts were also later introduced, giving customers even more selection. Outside of the kitchen, Greco creatively promoted its business with ads that included an X-Files parody and promotions of its unique square-shaped pizza. Greco also launched its popular “310-30-30” jingle promoting its one-number dialing system in 1998.
Although pizza remains a staple on the menu, over time Pizza Delight evolved from a take-out pizza chain. Growing to offer nachos, wings, pasta, quarter chicken entrées and more, the brand became a sit-down, family-friendly restaurant (while still offering its traditional delivery). Promotions like a grill-your-own bread bar were also added at one time, contributing to the dine-in experience.
By 2000, Pizza Delight had grown to 180 locations across seven provinces and owned Le Coq Roi, Pizza Patio and 2-for-1 Pizza. Growth continued with the acquisition of Mikes restaurant franchises in 2000, Scores Rotisseries in 2005 and Bâton Rouge restaurants in 2006. In 2007, the parent company managing its suite of brands was renamed from Pizza Delight Ltd. to Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc.
Greco’s parent company Grinner’s Food Systems opened its first Frank & Gino’s Grill and Pasta House in Truro, N.S. in 1998 (and later opened a second location in Amherst). Grinner’s also acquired the P.E.I.-founded Capt. Submarine franchise in 2000, and launched its first FROZU! Frozen Yogurt location in 2015.
Today, both Greco and Pizza Delight remain popular pizza franchises across Atlantic Canada and beyond. Greco has over 110 locations in Atlantic Canada and Ontario and claims to be Atlantic Canada’s largest pizza franchise. Pizza Delight appears to have 67 locations and in 2018 its parent company Imvescor was acquired by MTY Group.
55 years later and still serving a fresh slice.
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