A brief History
Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going
We opened our first The Great Canadian Bagel store in Toronto in April 1993 with a full production on site bakery.
Our concept was unique to Canada since we produced bagels from our own proven recipes in each store using the finest natural ingredients without the additives and preservatives or mass produced frozen bagels used by other fast food coffee chains.
As we opened more stores, our customers asked for freshly made breakfast and lunch sandwiches and beverages on our menu so we incorporated full menus in our stores including soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. We continued to open stores in Dieppe, Fredericton, Charlottetown through the Greater Toronto Area suburbs, York University through London and out to Saskatoon and further west to Edmonton and Calgary.
In 2008 we opened our first stores in downtown Toronto to meet the needs of our customers working in the PATH community and are now located in First Canadian Place and the Bay Adelaide Centre.
Over the past 24 years, our concept has been well received by customers across Canada that appreciate all natural bakery products without additives or preservatives.
The majority of stores are equipped with an on premise bakery enabling customers to watch the bagels being made and smell the aroma as they are taken from the oven. This combination of high quality product, attractive store atmosphere and constant focus on providing the highest level of customer service all work together to set The Great Canadian Bagel a notch above the competition in the fast growing Bagel segment of the Foodservice market.
The Great Canadian Bagel has clearly established itself as a market leader in Canada. The Great Canadian Bagel continues to expand by offering selected franchise opportunities to qualified individuals. If you are hardworking, quality conscious, people oriented and interested in the challenge, independence, and financial rewards of owning your own business, a franchise in The Great Canadian Bagel may be for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1.What is the cost of opening a The Great Canadian Bagel store?
Franchisees of The Great Canadian Bagel can operate either “Full Production” or “Non-Production” stores.
Full Productions stores range from $300,000 to $350,000, while Non-Production store typically involves a total development cost ranging between $85,000 and $175,000. A large portion of the cost may be financed, though we recommend cash equity of at least 50%.
The “turnkey” cost includes store design, permits, equipment, leasehold improvements, signage, small wares, and start up inventory, uniforms and merchandise display items. All equipment is typically owned by the Franchisee with the exception of a few items on loan from suppliers.
Franchisees will usually be required to provide rental deposit to the landlord as well as utility security deposits to local service providers. As most suppliers provide payment terms, additional start-up capital requirements are usually minimal.
“Non-Production” stores lack the equipment needed to prepare the bagel dough (usually due to space restrictions) and instead purchase their bagels from one of our “Full Production” store nearby.
2.Will The Great Canadian Bagel select the location and build the store for me?
The Great Canadian Bagel is actively seeking prime locations. In certain instances, you may choose to open a store in a location selected by yourself, though the location must be evaluated and approved by The Great Canadian Bagel. Alternatively, there are occasions when existing Franchisees may choose to sell their store.
3.Who holds the lease? I have little experience in negotiating leases. Will The Great Canadian Bagel offer assistance in this area?
This varies from location to location. In some cases the Franchisee holds the lease directly, while in other cases the premises are leased by one of the Franchisor’s companies and sublet to the Franchisee. The Great Canadian Bagel will fully negotiate or aid in lease negotiation for Franchisees.
4.How do I get building plans?
The Great Canadian Bagel, assist in developing the building plans for your location, including any necessary architectural and/or engineering drawings. However the cost of all drawings are part of the original store capital cost.
5.What Hours will the store be open?
Again, this varies by location. In a typical plaza or street front location, the store may open from 6 am to 7 pm weekdays, and 7 am to 6 pm on weekends for a total of approximately 80-90 hours per week. Baking usually begins a half hour prior to opening the store. Locations in office buildings may have much shorter hours, closing prior to 6 pm and operating only 5 or 6 days per week.
6.Is the Franchisee required to purchase any supplies or ingredients directly from The Great Canadian Bagel?
No. Quality specifications and authorized sources of equipment, supplies and ingredients are provided to each Franchisee. The suppliers are independent of The Great Canadian Bagel. Must a Franchisee have prior experience in food retailing or baking?
No. Though related experience is helpful, The Great Canadian Bagel will provide comprehensive training and operating assistance. The desire and effort of the Franchisee can be more important than baking or retailing experience.
7.Is it difficult to bake bagels?
Not at all. Through extensive formulation, testing and application in our stores, The Great Canadian Bagel, has developed a simple, systemized approach to baking bagels. Franchisees will be taught to bake and prepare all products using The Great Canadian Bagel’s proven recipes.
8.Does The Great Canadian Bagel require Franchisees to be actively involved in operating the store?
Yes, The Great Canadian Bagel business requires and responds to the personal input and attention of the owner. It is essential that the Franchisee become personally involved in all facets of the business. You can expect to work many hours, particularly at the beginning. You should be willing and capable of performing all sales, production and other functions required on a daily basis. The demands on you personally can be minimized by your ability to attract, motivate and retain capable employees.
9.Can a Great Canadian Bagel franchisee own more than one The Great Canadian Bagel Franchise?
Possibly. A Franchisee who has demonstrated success in organizing and operating a well managed The Great Canadian Bagel store may be eligible for new franchise opportunities in the future.
10.What training and Store Opening Assistance is provided to Franchisees?
The Great Canadian Bagel, Ltd. will provide an extensive training program covering all aspects of store operations, including baking procedures, operating policies, equipment maintenance, selling and merchandising, management control, etc. This program is currently three weeks in duration and held at our Mississauga office and designated training stores. This program is mandatory for Franchisees. Training is also made available for any key employees. For new stores, training is included as part of the initial Franchisee Fee. There is no additional cost for training of Franchisees or their staff. In a resale situations a Training Fee is charged to the incoming Franchisee in lieu of an initial Franchise Fee. Franchisee are responsible for any travel and accommodation costs incurred during training.
In addition, The Great Canadian Bagel, Ltd. will provide on-site pre-opening assistance and training to the Franchisee and their staff, and will continue to provide on-site training and assistance throughout the initial week of operations.
11.What is the Royalty Fee?
A Royalty Fee of 6% of gross sales is paid each of the company’s periods.
12.What is the National Advertising Fee?
There is a provision in the franchise agreement for Franchisees to contribute up to a maximum of 3% of gross sales (at present the National Advertising Fee charged is 1.5% of gross sales) which is collected in the same manner as the royalty fees.
13.What is the Initial Franchisee Fee?
A new Full Production store - $30,000
A new Non-Production store - $20,000
14.What level of income can a Franchisee expect to earn?
A proper understanding of the financial aspects of owning a The Great Canadian Bagel store is a critically important part of the investigation process for prospective Franchisee.
Because we believe it is very important, we do not wish to “gloss over” this information. Our Disclosure Document provides details on development costs, and operating revenue & expenses, together with a format to all prospective Franchisees to develop site specific cash flow projections based upon their situation.
Naturally, there are many factors involved in determining the level of revenues and expenses of an individual store. The Franchisee’s management skills, time commitment, locational factors, overhead costs, etc., will all influence the level of revenues and income a Franchisee can expect to earn.
Where do we go from here
1.If you are interested in proceeding further, select and fill in our Application Form and forward it to our office. Provided there is mutual interest we will arrange for a personal meeting. The initial meeting may be followed up by additional meetings with Support Office personnel. In the event that there are no franchisees available at the time, your application will be kept on file for future consideration.
2.Our next step will be to provide you with our Disclosure Document, which provides you with the required documents under the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) 2000 for review by your solicitor and/or financial advisor.
3.In event that a specific location has not yet been determined we will work together to secure one at the best lease rate and terms possible.
4.Once the Initial Franchise Fee has been paid, with an executed Franchise Agreement and/or Lease/Sublease. We will set up a mutually convenient time for your training.
Purchasing an existing store from a franchisee
1.Will the Purchaser Pay an Initial Franchise Fee?
No, the Purchaser will not pay an Initial Franchise Fee, but is required to pay a Training Fee of $10,000 (plus H.S.T). The current Franchisee must pay the Transfer Fee payable as per his Franchise Agreement - Section 18.04 (c) (vi).
2.The following list provides detailed steps which outlines the requirements from the Purchaser:
Submit an executed Agreement of Purchase and Sale, along with completed Franchise Application.
Once all conditions need to be removed (except the Franchisor’s approval) a meeting will set up by the Support Office.
If the Franchisor approves the Purchaser, than a Disclosure Document will be provided for review by the Purchaser’s Solicitor and/or Financial Advisor.
After the 14 day waiting period required by the Arthur Wishart (Franchise Disclosure) 2000, the Training Fee must be paid and the training schedule will be set up by the Support Office.
The Purchaser and Seller will provide the Support office with their lawyers’ contract information, and the tentative closing date for this transaction.
During the Training Period the Support office will provide the Purchaser and Seller lawyer’s with the agreements which will be required to be signed by each party. In the case of the Purchaser, the Franchise Agreement, [Sub-lease (if required), Consent by the Head Landlord (if required), the Tripartite Agreement (if required)], the Assignment and Guarantee Agreement. In the case of the Seller the Franchisor’s standard Release document.
Before closing date the Purchaser will provide to the Support office its Corporation Articles of Incorporation and provide proof of insurance coverage.
Upon closing and confirmation that all funds have been paid to the Seller by the Purchaser, as well any funds owing to the Franchisor. The Franchisor will execute all documents given to the Purchaser / Seller and deem the sale complete from the Franchisor perspective.