Toronto, Ontario (July 18th, 2023) – Happy Belly Food Group Inc. (CSE: HBFG) (OTCQB: VGANF) (“Happy Belly” or the “Company”), a leading consolidator of emerging food brands is pleased to announce that on July 17th, 2023 it has signed an area development agreement for the province of British Columbia for the opening of 20 franchise restaurants of PIRHO Fresh Greek Grill, a gourmet bowls, wraps, and pitas fast casual Greek restaurant with the fresh wholesome tastes of Greece and its delicious traditional foods.
“Todays announcement marks Happy Belly’s entry into its third (3rd) province where it holds area development agreements in place as we continue to rapidly develop our brands, real estate footprint, and nation-wide franchising program. We have 80 units in development for PIRHO Fresh Greek Grill across British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, showing our brand partners and shareholders just how serious we are about accelerating our growth”, said Sean Black, Chief Investment Officer of Happy Belly. “Our accelerated franchise development model and real estate growth plan is establishing PIRHO as a National brand with a lot more opportunity still to grow within Canada as we also keep a close eye to territory south of the border for future expansion. Since the start of 2023 we have built a pipeline of a combined 130 QSR units across our brand portfolio in just three (3) provinces that are in franchising development. There is still significant open ice for Happy Belly to grow and expand into, and we are aggressively pursuing these opportunities.”
Visual Example of PIRHO Fresh Greek Grill locations with British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta AD Agreements
“With our move into British Columbia, we have made another substantial step forward in becoming the leader in Fast Casual Greek in Canada. We achieved this very goal within the Mexican category as we grew Mucho Burrito with first mover advantage in Canada after Chipotle had 1st mover advantage in the United States. PIRHO is our next emerging growth brand in fast casual. CAVA has the 1st mover advantage in the United States and it has worked out pretty well for them so far, so our ability to quickly scale in Canada using our team and our asset light franchise model for growth is very important. This was the reason we put the band back together and assembled the same team that delivered results for us with our many previous brands. Speed to market is crucial when scaling a growth brand, and we plan to leverage our formula across our portfolio of emerging brands. Happy Belly is strengthening its position as a national franchisor of emerging brands. Getting to build this brand with my close friend and former business partner Steve Travers is dream scenario for me. We have worked together at Extreme Brandz, Crave It Group, and MTY Group (where he held the position of VP Western Canada Development) to grow a lot of brands in Western Canada.”
We have signed with experienced Stephen Travers as our Area Developer in British Columbia. Stephen was the 1st Extreme Pita Franchisee ever, and later the 1st ever Area-Developer for Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito and Via Cibo. He has over 20 years of QSR experience and an impressive track record of developing brands quickly in Western Canada. Stephen has developed over 150 QSR restaurants and has delivered for us time and time again as we built our previous brands.
About PIRHO Fresh Greek Grill
We strongly believe that food can bring people together and inspire colorful conversations. PIRHO culture is rooted in old-world Greek traditions with an emphasis on family and community. The wholesome ingredients, the careful preparation, the irresistible aromas, the delicious food and of course the human interaction all make for a warm and inviting atmosphere. During our visits to Greece, this nurturing environment left a deep and lasting impression with us. So much so that it led to the creation of PIRHO Fresh Greek Grill. The best of Greece right here in Ottawa! In our fast-paced world, taking the time to connect with friends and family has never been more important. You deserve to enjoy those precious moments and connect with your loved ones, in real life, with True Food. Join us for lunch or dinner at PIRHO Grill and fuel your soul.
About Happy Belly Food Group
Happy Belly Food Group Inc. (CSE: HBFG) (OTCQB: VGANF) (“Happy Belly” or the “Company”), a leading consolidator of emerging food brands.
Happy Belly Food Group
Chief Executive Officer
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