Edo Japan opens first Ontario location at Heartland Town Centre


Brand equipped with robust expansion model, selects each franchise location carefully: Terry Foster, VP of Operations

By Shazia Malik

Edo Japan, one of the most successful franchises in Canada, officially opened its first Ontario street-front location at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga. Known for its delicious signature Japanese-inspired dishes, including Teriyaki Chicken, Sukiyaki Beef and Chop Chop bowls, Edo Japan is a convenience-driven concept and a healthy alternative to many fast service restaurants.

Adding to the growth of 135 locations across Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Edo Japan is anticipated to bring extensive strategic business growth and vast franchise potential to the Ontario market. Weekly Voice took an exclusive interview of Terry Foster, VP of Operations Edo Japan to find out about the success of the brand in Canada and its expansion strategy.

Terry informed that Edo Japan was founded in Calgary, Alberta more than four decades ago, offering authentic, hand-made, Teppanyaki-style meals inspired by the tastes, sights and sounds of Japan. He said: “We are dedicated to the communities we operate in and ensure we serve the highest quality foods, give back with our charity programs and continually modernize our menu to offer customers exactly what they are looking for today.”

As of today, Edo Japan has 136 locations – 80 are dine-in restaurants and 55 are in food courts.

When asked about expansion in the Western part of the country and now in the East while several other brands are struggling to survive, Terry said Edo Japan prides itself on carefully selecting each Edo Japan location and ensuring that franchisees feel they are supported as they join the Edo Japan brand. In the past few years, Edo Japan has worked diligently on an expansion model for locations beyond western Canada, including Manitoba and Ontario. “We will grow at a pace that ensures we are meeting our customers needs and our Franchise partners are successful.”

When asked, what is the unique selling point of the Edo brand and what should people look forward to while going there, Terry pointed out that Edo Japan meals bring Canadians together with the freshest, highest-quality Japanese inspired cuisine. “It is our tradition to put our customers first by offering legendary service along with serving the highest quality, freshly prepared food cooked on a 450-degree Teppan Grill which sears the food and locks in the flavour. Our teriyaki sauce is a closely guarded secret and it’s the signature sauce for many or our authentic hot Japanese Teppan-style dishes. Part of the Edo Japan experience is watching the skilled chefs prepare your meal in the open-concept restaurant where you can hear the sound of the spatulas stirring, the sizzle of the hot grill, and the aroma is amazing!”

Talking further about the Edo philosophy, Terry said Edo Japan is equipped with a robust expansion model, carefully selecting each franchise location we stand behind. “We offer a strong commitment to all our current franchise models.” Edo Japan’s success bodes well for new franchisees as they look to tap into the concentrated Ontario landscape. The Edo Japan philosophy is embodied by all franchise partners who have a relentless dedication to their community and legendary service which in turn nets a successful business.

When asked about the market size for Japanese food in Canada and their policy to keep people interested in their brand, Terry added Edo Japan’s ongoing success can be attributed to the dedication to remain authentic to their Japanese-inspired meals, and signature teriyaki sauce, while appealing to the changing demographics around them. He said: “The introduction of our revitalized store design, Fresh Take, along with our ongoing menu evolution, has boasted well for Edo Japan’s accelerated growth in diverse markets throughout the country. Our quick cooking model means there is minimal wait times and affordable prices for time-crunched families, the office crowd, young millennials and anyone who wants a healthier option to many typical types of fast food.”

When asked if they have have Kolkata chicken on their menu and if not, would they like to introduce it, especially at the Mississauga location, Terry informed Edo Japan does not currently offer Kolkata chicken – the current product offering is focused on serving Japanese-inspired meals. “We are actively involved with our franchisees and customers and always appreciate input into how we can better serve Canadians across the county.”

In the end, Terry said that Edo Japan is looking forward to seeing Edo Japan’s growth in eastern market with the opening of Ontario’s inaugural street front location in Mississauga. He concluded: “We believe that Edo Japan provides a unique offering to Ontario and are excited for the community to enjoy and love Edo Japan as much as we do!”