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Boston Pizza Successfully Enters The French Market

November 28, 2007 | By More

bostonpizza.jpgBoston Pizza wanted to crack the Quebec restaurant market four years ago, but were warned by industry insiders that they shouldn’t even make an attempt.

Outside restaurants have a history of failing to win over Quebec consumers, given the culinary preferences of the francophone majority. Companies also need to be aware of the language differences and respect the French language predominance.

So far it seems Boston Pizza has managed to overcome those challenges. After just 2 1/2 years, Boston Pizza will have 24 restaurants in the province by the end of the year and is on track to have 50 by 2010. The chain boasts more than 280 Canadian locations and sales last year of $647-million.

The secret to their success? They had a Quebec team from the start with a separate regional head office in the Montreal suburb of Laval 18 months before the first Quebec restaurant even opened.

They also discovered that Quebeckers want the option of a multicourse lunch, not just a typical “combo plate” offering. They also increased the wine list from the standard eight choices to over 25 labels. Finally, even the pizza was altered. In Quebec, the cheese goes on as a final layer, not underneath the toppings. The Boston Pizza version was dubbed “La Québécoise Boston.” Finally, two Quebecois standards – poutine and sugar pie – were added to the menu.

The easiest part of the expansion, the name. How does one say Boston Pizza in French? Quite simply actually, Boston Pizza (as there is no translation for Boston or Pizza).

Has anyone visited a Boston Pizza in Quebec? How does it differ from the rest of North America?

[via The Globe and Mail]

Category: Food

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