MTY Food Group

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MTY Food Group Inc.
  • Golden Sky Resources (1986–1994)
  • Golden Sky Ventures International (1994–2000)
  • iNsu Innovations Group (2000–2003)
Traded as


Grey Market: MTYFF
Founded 1979; 39 years ago (1979) as Le Paradis du Pacifique
Founder Stanley Ma
Headquarters Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
Area served
Key people

Claude St-Pierre COO,SEC,DIR[1]
Stephen A. Stone DIR
Murat Armutlu DIR

Jason Lin DIR
Revenue $2.0 billion systemwide
Increase$101.36 million (2013)[2]
systemwide $725.8 million
Increase$51.40 million (2009)[3]
systemwide $400 million[4]
Divisions MTY Tiki Ming Enterprises
Taco Time Canada Inc. (founded as taco foods ltd., 1977)
Country Style Food Services Holdings Inc. (founded 1962)
Yogen Fruz Canada Inc. (founded 1986)
Subsidiaries Kahala Brands
Previous logo

MTY Food Group is a Canadian franchisor and operator of numerous casual dining, fast casual, and quick service restaurants operating under more than 70 brand names, some of them through wholly owned subsidiaries.[1] The number of outlets carrying MTY brands reached 5,500 in 2017. Stanley Ma is the group founder and President CEO. MTY Food Group's ever-expanding brands include Thaï Express, Country Style, Groupe Valentine, Vanelli's, Extreme Pita, Cultures, La Cremiere, Sushi Shop, Veggirama, Caferama, O'burger, Tiki Ming, Vie & Nam, Au Vieux Duluth Express, FranxSupreme, ChicknChick, Croissant Plus, Koya Japan, Kim Chi, Panini, Tandori, Tutti Frutti, Villa Madina Mediterranean Cuisine, Sukiyaki, Taco Time, Yogen Früz, and the Canadian branch of TCBY.

The number of restaurant locations using those brand names more than doubled between 2007 and 2010.[5] Since opening the first Tiki Ming restaurant in 1984, MTY launched ten brands and acquired more than twenty others. Four of the restaurant chains—Vanelli's, Caferama, Sukiyaki, and La Cremiere—also operate in the Middle East.[6] There used to be a computer and technology division named Gold Tech Computer Systems Ltd., but it was spun off in 2003, renaming itself MTY Food Group Inc.[7]

Most of its restaurants are located in shopping mall and cinema food courts while others are in convenience stores. The company owes much of its growth to corporate takeovers (in 2013 80% of the company's revenue growth was attributable to acquisitions).[2][8][9] It operates in Canada, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Morocco and in 2009 revenue from franchise fees increased 75%.[10][11] It joined the Toronto Stock Exchange as a debt-free company in June 2010. Prior to this it traded on the TSX Venture Exchange for 15 years under four different names.[10][12][13]


In 1979, 29-year-old Stanley Ma opened a restaurant called Le Paradis du Pacifique on St. Martin Blvd in Laval, 11 years after he arrived in Canada from Hong Kong. In 1984 he opened the first of 56 Tiki Ming restaurants in Canada in Montreal's Rockland Mall.[12] In 1986 the predecessor company was incorporated as Golden Sky Resources Inc. and publicly traded on the Vancouver Stock Exchange (now the TSX Venture Exchange) in February 1989. The name of the company was later changed to Golden Sky Ventures International Inc. in 1994, then to iNsu Innovations Group Inc. in 2000,[14] and then to its current name MTY Food Group Inc. in 2003.[15][16] It moved from the TSX Venture Exchange to the TSX exchange under the symbol MTY in May 2010.[17]

On November 30, 2010 the company created two new subsidiaries when it combined five former ones. Country Style Food Services Holdings Inc., Buns Master Bakery Systems Inc. and Melody Farms Specialty Foods & Equipment Limited were regrouped into one subsidiary, the other came from Mrs. Vanelli's Restaurants Limited and MTY Tiki Ming Enterprises Inc. The move improved short term cash flow by enabling it to take advantage of non-capital tax losses quicker.[18]

On May 21, 2010, president, CEO, and chairman of MTY Food Group Stanley Ma opened the Toronto Stock Exchange.[19]

In 2016, and in a bid for faster expansion, MTY offered to buy the Quebec-based St-Hubert chain of restaurants with its rich chicken product menu. MTY's offer was rejected in favour of the purchase of St Hubert brand by Ontario-based Cara Operations.[20]

In December 2017 however, MTY announced that it was finishing a purchase deal of Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc., a Canadian company with restaurants and food outlets under the five brands Toujours Mikes, Pizza Delight, Scores Rotisserie, Bâton Rouge, and Ben & Florentine. The purchase tag is reportedly 248 million Canadian dollars in a stock-and-cash deal, and will add another 262 existing outlets of the said brands with a reported annual sales figures of 416 million Canadian dollars. The purchase was finalized by the end of February 2018. Imvescor chairman Francois-Xavier Seigneur said joining forces with MTY creates opportunities for Imvescor shareholders from an offer he described as representing a "full and fair value." The combined company is expected to generate about $2.9 billion in annual sales.[21][22]

In February 2018, MTY announced that it was acquiring two new brands, Timothy's and Mmmuffin.[23]


MTY Food Group owns or controls many restaurant brands within Canada and the United States. In some cases, MTY is a franchise operator within Canada only for chains headquartered outside of Canada such as TCBY and Yogen Früz. In all other cases, MTY owns the brand with the brand headquartered in either Montreal or Phoenix and may license to other companies outside of North America.

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 q2 2016
Number of locations 248[24] 287[24] 420[25] 428[26] 784[27] 825[28] 1,023[29] 1,570[30] 1727 1893[31] 2251[32] 2590[2] 2727 2792 5488[33]


Tiki-Ming was the first restaurant of the franchised brands of MTY. The company was launched in 1984 two years before MTY's predecessor, Golden Sky Resources was formed[12][34]

Other brands[edit]

In addition to the main Tiki-Ming brand, the pioneering brand of the group carrying typical Chinese cuisine and fast food, MTY Food Group has launched further fast food ethnic-based brand food chains including North American, European, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern and South Asian menus.

  • Sukiyaki (1988)[34] - Japanese cuisine
  • Franx Supreme (1989)[34][35] - French Canadian specialties including Quebec's famous "Poutine". Chain also offers chicken nuggets, salads, made to order sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers
  • Chick 'n Chick (1995)[34] - Canadian and American chicken products, French fries and fast food
  • Panini Pizza (1995)[34] - Italian and European sandwiches, pizza
  • Caférama (1999)
  • Villa Madina (2003)[34] - Arab / Middle Eastern / Mediterranean cuisine
  • KimChi (2007)[34][35] - Korean cuisine
  • Tandori (2008)[34][35] - Indian / South Asian cuisine
  • O'Burger (2008)[34] - Canadian and American burgers and sandwiches

Fontaine Santé[edit]

In April 1999, MTY acquired Fontaine Santé, a 22-unit health food quick service restaurant chain in Quebec for an undisclosed amount.[36] The stores were later rebranded as Veggirama and then rebranded a second time as Cultures.[37]

La Crémière[edit]

Under the name iNsu Innovations, MTY acquired the brand La Crémière in November 2001, which oversaw 74 locations (all were in Quebec at the time), from Agropur Coopérative for $750,000.[38] The acquisition, which included the Beaver Tails trade name, brought the company's system-wide sales up to $50 million.[39]

Au Vieux Duluth Express[edit]

In May 2002, MTY, then known as iNsu Innovations Group, signed a strategic alliance agreement with Restaurants Au Vieux Duluth inc. that allows the company to franchise Au Vieux Duluth Express, a quick serve version of Laval-based Greek restaurant.[40]

Croissant Plus[edit]

In September 2002, MTY acquired the 20-unit Croissant Plus for an undisclosed amount.[41]


In May 2003, MTY, then known as iNsu Innovations Group, acquired 23-unit Cultures for $9.25 million.[42]

Mrs. Vanelli's[edit]

In June 2004, MTY purchase all 105 Mrs. Vanelli's locations plus the Mrs. Vanelli's trademarks from Donato Food Corp. for an undisclosed amount. As part of the purchase agreement, MTY entered into a license agreement with a subsidiary of Donato Food Corp. to allow the Donato subsidiary to continue to manufacture and distribute "Mrs. Vanelli's" branded food products worldwide.[43][44]

Thai Express[edit]

Thai Express was acquired in May 2004 from Tara Fung Holding Inc. of Montreal through then subsidiary Matoyee Enterprises Inc.[45][46]

Sushi Shop[edit]

In September 2006, MTY acquired the 47 stores in 2007 for $7.6 million. The previous owner of the establishment was made vice president after the deal.[47][48][49]

Koya Japan[edit]

In October 2006, purchased the 25-unit Koya Japan chain from the Sabbagh Family Trust of Winnipeg for over $3 million.[50][51]

Vie & Nam[edit]

In June 2008, MTY inaugurated its Vietnamese cuisine concept called Vie & Nam.[52]

Tutti Frutti[edit]

In September 2008, MTY purchased Tutti Frutti for $7.3 million.[53][54][55]

Taco Time Canada[edit]

In November 2008, MTY acquired Taco Time Canada from Calgarians Ken and Aarol Pattendent for $7.9 million.[56][57][58] Taco Time Canada held the franchise rights in Canada for Arizona-based Taco Time. MTY would later acquire Arizona-based Taco Time through the 2016 acquisition of Kahala Brands.

Country Style[edit]

Country Style was acquired when it had 488 locations, in April 2009 for $7.7 million in cash and $6.9 million in debt.[10][59]

Groupe Valentine Inc.[edit]

In September 2010 MTY Food Group bought Groupe Valentine Inc.'s Valentine restaurant brand for $9.3 million with Groupe Valentine becoming a subsidiary of MTY Food Group[60] Valentine is a Canadian chain of over 100 privately owned restaurant franchises operating in the province of Quebec, Canada. The first restaurant opened in 1979 in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. During the 1990s, the chain underwent a major renewal plan in which the restaurants' design changed along with the company's colours. The company's fare is typical Canadian fast food, such as burgers, fries, sandwiches and poutine.[61][62]

Jugo Juice[edit]

In August 2011, MTY acquired Jugo Juice for $15.5 million. The Calgary-based franchise operating in the smoothie industry that oversaw 133 locations at the time it was acquired.[63][64]

Mr. Sub[edit]

Among the largest acquisitions made by MTY is the 2011 purchase of the Mr. Sub franchise for $23 million; at the time it was a chain of 335 sandwich shops.[65][66]

Koryo Korean BBQ[edit]

In November 2011, MTY acquire the 20 unit Koryo Korean BBQ chain for $1.8 million in cash. Except for one corporately owned store, all units were franchised. The chain had locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan at the time of the acquisition.[32][67]

Mr Souvlaki Ltd[edit]

The 14 stores were acquired on November 26, 2012 for $1 million. 13 of the locations were in Ontario, the other was in British Columbia. At the time of the takeover system-wide sales were $4.5 million.[68][69]

Extreme Brandz[edit]

Extreme Brandz can trace its roots to the founding of Extreme Pita by the brothers Alex Rechichi and Mark Rechichi in 1997.[70] Extreme Brandz was officially founded in 2006 when the brand Mucho Burrito was launched.[71] PurBlendz was launched in 2008 as a smoothie co-brand for existing Extreme Pita operators.[72]

On May 28, 2013, MTY Food Group Inc., said that its subsidiary MTY Tiki Ming Enterprises Inc. has struck an agreement to buy the assets of Mississauga Ontario-based Extreme Brandz, owner of Extreme Pita, PurBlendz, and Mucho Burrito, for $45 million (U.S.) from the three co-founders, Alex Rechichi, Mark Rechichi and Sean Black.[73] Extreme Brandz's 40 U.S. stores will be MTY’s first stores in the United States. Of the 364 stores acquired 5 are corporately owned.


In June 2013, MTY paid $1.05 million to acquire SushiGo, a small chain of five restaurants, two of which were corporately-owned.[74]

Thai Zone[edit]

In October 2013, MTY acquired 80% of Thai Zone restaurant chain for $17.7 million. At the time of the acquisition, Thai Zone had 25 stores and 3 mobile restaurants in the province of Quebec, all of which are franchised.[75][76]

Café Dépôt, Sushi Man, Muffin Plus, and Fabrika[edit]

MTY Food Group announced on July 8, 2014 that it has completed the acquisition of the assets of Café Dépôt, Sushi Man, Muffin Plus, and Fabrika. The total consideration for the transaction was $13.9 million, paid from MTY's cash on hand and existing credit facilities. At closing, the chains were operating 101 stores, including 13 corporately-owned stores.[77]

Madison New York Grill & Bar[edit]

In July 2014, MTY purchased Madison New York Grill & Bar for 12.9 million. The deal involved 14 franchised stores all located in Quebec.[78][79]

Café Van Houtte[edit]

Deal completed November 7, 2014 involves 51 franchised stores all located in Quebec from Keurig Canada.[80][81]

Manchu Wok[edit]

In December 2014, MTY said it would pay $7.9 million from cash on hand to acquire Manchu Wok, which had 133 stores in its operations, 114 of which were franchised and 19 corporately owned.[82][83] During its most recent completed fiscal year, the network generated approximately $95 million in system sales.

Big Smoke Burger[edit]

In September 2015, MTY paid $3 million to acquire 60% of Big Smoke Burger. Big Smoke founder and president Mustafa Yusuf retained the remsing 40% of the company.[84][85]

At the time of the acquisition, Big Smoke Burger had a total of 17 locations. Of the 17 locations, 9 were located in Canada, 4 of which were corporately-owned. The remaining 8 locations were located in United States and the Middle East.[85]

Kahala Brands[edit]

In May 2016, MTY announced a friendly takeover deal with the Kahala Brands Ltd restaurant franchise company (2,800 stores worldwide). MTY thereby added 18 American brands to its portfolio, including Cold Stone Creamery, America's Taco Shop, and Kahala Coffee Traders. MTY agreed to pay about US $300 million to acquire Kahala. The two companies generated near $2 billion in revenues in the previous year.[86] The acquisition was completed on July 26, 2016.[87]

Baja Fresh and La Salsa[edit]

In September 2016, MTY announced the pending acquisition of California-based BF Acquisition Holdings, the parent company for Baja Fresh and La Salsa, for US$27 million.[88] The acquisition was completed the following month and the new American brands were transferred to its Kahala subsidiary.[89]

Dagwoods Sandwiches et Salades[edit]

In September 2017, MTY acquired the Montreal-based Dagwoods Sandwiches et Salades for $3 million. At the time of the acquisition, the chain had 22 locations in Quebec and 1 in Ontario.[90][91]

La Diperie[edit]

In December 2016, MTY acquired 60% of the 5-unit ice cream chain for $0.9 million paid in cash.[92][93]


In December 2017, MTY bought Imvescor, a restaurant group with about 300 restaurants under brands Pizza Delight, Bâton Rouge, Scores, Mikes, and Ben & Florentine.

Timothy's World Coffee and MMMuffins[edit]

Following the announcement made in February 2018, MTY acquired the assets of Timothy's World Coffee and Mmmuffins from Threecaf Brands, Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Le Duff America, in April 2018.[94]

Canadian franchise operations for other global brands[edit]

Within Canada, MTY also operates as a franchise operator for global brands such as TCBY and Yogen Früz. For a time, MTY was also a franchise operator for Taco Time until it became its global owner.

TCBY Canada[edit]

In 2005, MTY purchase TCBY Canada, which held The Country's Best Yogurt franchise rights in Canada for $1.3 million. At the time there were 91 locations.[95][96]

Yogen Früz[edit]

MTY owns exclusive Canadian franchise rights to Yogen Früz for 20 years that began in 2006 due to a $13 million agreement made with Coolbrands International.[97]

See also[edit]



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External links[edit]