The Franchise Show


by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Why This Show…

It started off as a discussion between me and my website development partner. We had been talking about franchising and wondered what it was all about. We were also curios if franchising would be right for an idea we had. I went onto the internet to do some research and discovered that a franchise show was scheduled to take place in Toronto and soon! We decided to visit it, The Franchise Show! This Show is produced by the Canadian Franchise Association, the only national trade association for franchising. I am always looking for new and interesting festivals and events to visit, so I thought I would “kill two birds with one stone” and this show fit the bill. We would visit for Ontario Festivals Visited and we would research our franchising idea. Judi had been at her sister’s in Newmarket, so I went there first to pick her up. Then it was off to Toronto to pick up Shawn. That’s Shawn King, my friend and website partner. He had come to Toronto earlier to participate in a touch football game. When we picked him up he looked a little worse for ware! I’m not sure that the opposition didn’t “touch” a bit too hard! After picking Shawn up we were off to the Toronto Congress Centre. Finding a parking spot was next to impossible! The Centre’s parking lot was jammed! The Centre was not only hosting The Franchise Show, but also a grocery show! We finally found a spot some distance from the show’s entrance. I had made arrangement with the Show for tickets which we picked up in the front lobby. So armed, it was time to explore the “world of franchising” and find out what it was all about!

Familiar and New…

Walking into The Franchise Show was like walking into your favourite Mall’s food court! Almost all of the fast food stores that we have grown to know and love were represented, Robin’s Donuts, A & W, Second Cup, Pizza Nova, Country Style Donuts and Pizza Pizza. Even the “Big Box” restaurants were there, Casey’s, Eastside Mario’s, Mexicali Rosa’s, Shoeless Joe’s and Williams Coffee Pub. I have mentioned just a few of those present in both groups. The wonderful thing about this type of show is that many of the booths were handing out fee samples! Many thanks to the pizza companies and the coffee shops! It was amazing to see so many types of food companies on hand! They included pizza, coffee, Italian cuisine, hamburgers and donuts. I was surprised by the absence of some companies, MacDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Swiss Chalet and Subway, to name a few. Perhaps these franchises are so popular that they don’t need shows like this to promote themselves. It was interesting to see what all of the franchises had to offer!

More Franchisers…

Although food franchises were the most predominant, there were plenty of other types to consider. I hadn’t realized just how many types of franchises were available. Some of them included copying/printing, health products and clubs, advertising and promotion, internet, pre-made closets, deck systems and even a car rental company. A few of the company names I recognized (Kwik Copy and Herbal Magic), but most I didn’t (Kwik Kloset, Two Blondes and a Brunette Gift Co., City Direct, Clean 4 Me and Hickory Dickory Decks). Talking with many of the franchisers shed a new insight into the world of franchising! The amazing ideas and ingenuity of many of them was thought provoking for both Shawn and me. Who knows, perhaps some day we will have a booth in the show! In the meantime it was fun and interesting to see what others had to offer. Another aspect of the show was the services that were being offered to potential franchisees. There were at least three companies offering to help potential franchisees find the perfect franchise business for them. An insurance broker, specializing in franchise insurance was there, as was the Canada Revenue Agency. They were there to help new franchisees around the intricacies of the Canadian tax system. It was a great show and one that I am sure we will visit again.

Our Franchise Show List

(The following is a list of some of the franchises we visited and took photos of.)
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Casey’s Bar and Grill
Eastside Mario’s
Prime Pubs
Robin’ Donuts
M & M Meat Shops
A & W Food Services of Canada
Kwik Copy Design and Print Centres
Kwik Kloset
Mexicali Rosa’s
Herbal Magic Weight Loss and Nutrition Centres
ONEXT Media Corporation
Second Cup
Two Blondes and a Brunette Gift Co.
Shoeless Joe’s
Instant Imprints
Pizza Nova
Country Style Food Services
Snap Fitness
Pizza Pizza
Williams Coffee Pub
Mr. Greek Restaurants
City Direct info
Clean 4 Me
Coffee Culture Cafe and Eatery
Crabby Joe’s
Perfect Post Hole
Enviro King Lawn Care
Scores Rotisserie
Hickory Dickory Decks
Little Caesars
Salad Creations
Artisano Bakery Cafe
The Firkin Group of Pubs
U-Save Car Rentals

Services at The Franchise Show

(The following is a list of some of the services that we discovered)
Entrepreneur’s Source
Be The Boss Canada
Insurance Portfolio Inc
Canada Revenue Agency