The owners of Smoke's Poutinerie say they are pursing a rapid global expansion while also branching out with new restaurants that would sell gourmet hot dogs and burritos.
Toronto-based Smoke's Eaterie says it plans to open 1,300 restaurants around the world by 2020 devoted mainly to fans of poutine – the quintessential Quebec fast-food favourite of french fries topped with gravy and smothered in cheese curds.
After just six years, 100 franchised Smoke's Poutineries have opened in Canada, mainly in Ontario. The company says its goal is to double that footprint in Canada by adding locations mainly in Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada.
Company founder and CEO says growth will be targeted in non-traditional venues like sports arenas, university and college campuses and amusement parks.
The global expansion plans are centred heavily on the United States, where the company hopes to have 800 stores within five years.
The first U.S. location in Berkeley, Calif., opened in December and will soon be joined by restaurants in Hollywood and Las Vegas.
Smoke's also looks to open 150 restaurants in Western Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
While the focus is on Smoke's Poutinerie, the company is also branching out with Smoke's Burritories and Smoke's Weineries. By fall, 15 new Mexican-inspired and 10 hot dog restaurants are expected to open in Canada, joining the first Weinerie in the Halifax community of Dartmouth that opened in December.
Hot dog toppings would include peanut butter, jelly, chipotle pulled pork and garlic chips, while classic burritos would be topped with items like roasted corn, black beans, rice and chorizo sausage.