|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1940)|
The flagship location was opened in 1940 by G. Francis "Fran" Deck at 21 St Clair Avenue West and closed in 2001. Fran's, originally beginning as a diner, had only ten seats, but later expanded to a small chain of restaurants in Toronto, including locations at 2275 Yonge and Eglinton, (1945-2001) 1386 Bathurst south of Vaughan Road, Yonge and College (1950–present), Yonge and Dundas (1960-1984) and one in Hamilton with their head office being on Mt Pleasant Road north of Merton Street. Currently, Fran's operates five corporate-owned locations, including four in Toronto, and one in Barrie, Ontario.
Fran Deck died in 1976 in a car accident in Tucson, Arizona; the business was continued by his family.
In the 1990s, the family-owned chain was sold to a group of investors who intended to expand the chain throughout the Greater Toronto Area. In 1997, the College St. location was purchased by an independent restaurateur, Joon Kim. The College St. location retained the Fran's menu and restaurant name. In 1998, the Fran's Restaurant company was purchased by the owner of the College St. location. Once again, Fran's Restaurant became a family-owned and operated restaurant and is today owned by Joon Kim and his sons.
Because of the proximity of the College St. location to Maple Leaf Gardens, many of its clients were hockey fans catching a meal before or after a Maple Leafs hockey game. Moreover, many of its long-time customers continued to frequent the location.
In 2004, as a part of a gradual expansion program, a new location was opened in the Pantages Hotels and Suites at Victoria and Shuter. With the opening, Fran's modified its menu to include new food items alongside its traditional favourites by doubling the food choice.
Following the opening of the Victoria and Shuter location, Fran's expanded to Barrie, Ontario, opening a restaurant on Bayfield Street in December 2006. This location became the first location that is not open 24 hours a day. Closed 2015.
In 2009 Fran's Restaurants opened its first corporate United States location in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, in the Power & Light Entertainment District.
In August 2010, Fran's opened its third Toronto-based location near the intersection of Yonge and Front Streets, across from the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Along with its modern decor, it is also the first Fran's Restaurant to have a full-service bar in its substantial outdoor patio. This location is the first to expand its brand from a diner concept to a restaurant and bar and includes a full size outdoor bar and patio with both patio table and lounge chair configurations.
Fran's Restaurant is the originator of the term "Banquet Burger".
- "Sometime between two and three every morning Gould would go to Fran's, a 24-hour diner a block away from his Toronto apartment, sit in the same booth and order the same meal of scrambled eggs."
In 2014, Fran's opened a booth at the Canadian National Exhibition's Food Building for the first time and featured exclusive fare developed especially for the fair such as pie shakes, peanut butter-Sriracha balls, a Thanksgiving waffle and a Big Breakfast Maple Toast Box.
- "Fran’s to make CNE debut with new exclusive food items". Toronto Star. August 11, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- Glenn Gould: Variations on an Artist. cbc.ca.