Moving east

Noticed a Boston Pizza lately? If not, you will. The Richmond, B.C.-based restaurant chain plans to open 25 additional restaurants in Ontario and Atlantic Canada by year's end. Leading the charge is Wendy Hendry, the company's new director of regional marketing for Eastern Canada.

Noticed a Boston Pizza lately? If not, you will. The Richmond, B.C.-based restaurant chain plans to open 25 additional restaurants in Ontario and Atlantic Canada by year’s end. Leading the charge is Wendy Hendry, the company’s new director of regional marketing for Eastern Canada.

The casual dining chain, which first opened in Edmonton in 1964 and has a presence in Western Canada, already has locations in London, Pickering and Ajax, Ont. But now the company is aggressively targeting the 401 highway corridor and southern Ontario, says Hendry.

BP’s distinction is its two-in-one environment: each location has an enclosed area dedicated to the 19- to 30-year-old sports lover, with big-screen TVs and sports memorabilia; and a more family oriented section, targeted to 25-40s.

The marketing effort will be twofold. First, local is key. ‘Our real goal is to get actively involved in the local community.’ And to build awareness nationally, a new year-long campaign, which includes four TV spots, six radio spots and print work created by DDB Canada was launched in June. Last month, PHD was signed on as its media agency. A move, says Hendry, that will help bolster the brand’s presence in Ontario.

Before joining Boston Pizza, Hendry spent nine years at Prime Restaurants Group working on the East Side Mario’s brand. While its marketing manager, the chain’s locations jumped to 110 from 30 stores.

Boston Pizza International has more than 235 restaurants in Canada, with annual sales in excess of $550 million.