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|Headquarters||Ajax, Ontario, Canada|
|Canada, the United States, and Western Europe, Middle East, Australia and Asia Pacific by 2020|
Smoke's Poutinerie is a Canadian nationwide poutine franchise founded by entrepreneur Ryan Smolkin. According to the company's website, its goal is to "bring the authentic Quebec classic to the rest of the World."
Ryan Smolkin, the founder of Smoke’s Poutinerie, worked alongside Toronto restaurant consultants The Fifteen Group when starting out, in order to gain experience in the restaurant industry. Alongside the help of The Fifteen Group’s chef, the original gravy recipe was developed.
In Toronto in 2008, its premiere location was the first poutine-exclusive restaurant ('poutinerie') in that city. Smolkin was inspired by Montreal restaurant La Banquise, which serves many different kinds of poutine. Smolkin frequents La Banquise whenever he visits Montreal.
By 2017, the restaurant had some 150 locations across Canada in Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Oshawa, London, Guelph, Winnipeg, Kingston, Ottawa, Waterloo, Windsor, Mont-Tremblant, Saskatoon, Regina, Fredericton, Halifax, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Kelowna, Vancouver and St. John’s and with new franchises in the works in Kingston, Barrie, Edmonton and Whistler.
In 2015, the franchise's owners stated that they planned to expand the company internationally and would "open 1,300 restaurants around the world by 2020 devoted mainly to fans of poutine."
In 2016, Smoke's Poutinerie owned 76 restaurants in Canada and 5 in the United States.
Poutine Eating Championship
The Annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship crowns a new champion each year, and in 2016 a world record was broken for poutine eating. The event includes 3 levels of poutine eating including amateur, professional, and Destroyer. Throughout the day Smoke’s Poutinerie provides free poutine all day from 10am-4pm, musical entertainment, games, prizes, and giveaways.
In 2016, the event focused on raising money for the Friends of We Care charity and raised over $50,000 to send disabled children to camp.
Smoke’s Poutinerie has experienced increasing competition from other Canadian poutinerie chains over the years including Poutini’s House of Poutine which opened its second location in Toronto, ON in 2015, and Poutineville which as of May 2019, has 6 restaurants in Quebec.
Further competition has come from corporate businesses. In 2013, McDonald's expanded its poutine product from being only in Quebec, Canada, to the entire country of Canada. In 2012, Wendy’s added poutine to their menu as Canada’s national dish. Since McDonald's and Wendy’s, more companies have added poutine to their menus including Burger King, A&W, KFC, Popeyes and New York Fries to name a few.
Smolkin's marketing campaign focuses on "word of mouth and publicity stunts instead of traditional advertising.
Having some 200 locations in North America already, by 2020 Smoke’s Poutinerie plans to open 1300 restaurants, 800 in the US, and hundreds more across Western Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and in the Asia-Pacific region. Using master franchise or license agreements, the plan is to expand over 150 stores internationally starting with the Middle East and the U.K. In the US, they will offer multi-unit agreements. Smoke’s Poutinerie has already started on this development by having sold locations to American franchisees.
The company is focusing on opening 725 poutineries internationally at venues such as college and university campuses, sports stadiums, airports and casinos.
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- "7th Annual Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship | Yonge-Dundas Square". www.ydsquare.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
- "How Smoke's Poutinerie plans to become Canada's global fast-food juggernaut". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
- "How Smoke's Poutinerie plans to become a global fast food giant". www.marketingmag.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
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