Harvey’s celebrates 65 years of homegrown growth

Harvey's Restaurant exterior shot of building

By Amy Bostock

The “Your burger, your way” slogan has been at the heart of the Harvey’s business model since it first appeared on the Canadian quick-service scene 65 years ago in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Founded in 1959 by Montrealer Richard Mauran, the brand has since expanded its menu with new options to customize, including chicken sandwiches, poutine and its famous Angus burgers, made with 100 per cent Canadian beef. 

In 1963, Harvey’s opened its first franchised location at Bloor and Bedford streets in Toronto and in the early 1970s, Harvey’s Food Limited merged with Industrial Growth Limited to form Foodcorp, led by president Bernie Syron. The company grew to operate 80 restaurants before being acquired by Cara Operations (now Recipe Unlimited) in 1979 and now boasts nearly 300 locations across Canada.

Michael Nault, COO, Harvey’s, says Harvey’s had a strong year in 2023, climbing F&H’s Top 60 Report rankings to 20th position with an estimated $373.2 million in gross sales for last year, and sales are off to a positive start in 2024. “We experienced notable growth during our $1.65 burger promotion and we’re excited to see what the rest of the year brings.”

With nearly 300 locations, Nault says “the possibilities are endless as we continue to explore expansion opportunities across the country. The company is actively working towards a long-term goal and are doing so thoughtfully and with intention based on the needs of our consumers, market conditions and strategic objectives.”

Harvey’s is planning on opening approximately 10 locations in 2024, with a focus on Montreal, the Greater Toronto Area, London, Ont., Alberta and Calgary. The brand has set a target of reaching 500 units over the next five to 10 years.

“We’re always evaluating our current locations and looking at expansion plans holistically to ensure we are best serving our guests,” says Nault. Since its inception, Harvey’s restaurants have gone through several updates and renovations over the years to keep consumer experience top of mind. “We launched our app in 2019 to give consumers even more control over their order ,” says Nault. “We also launched Harv’s Delivery in 2022 to help convenience-conscious guests get their burger their way, while offering lowest delivery prices and exclusive delivery deals that help support their local Harvey’s location.”

Looking ahead, Nault says the company will continue to utilize technology to improve consistency for the customer regardless of location or who is at the grill. “And of course, we’re always looking at new toppings, promotions and new menu items alongside our key offerings.”

Green Journey

 “For 65 years, we have recognized our responsibility to preserve the beauty of Canada for future generations. Understanding our responsibility as Canadians, we are continuing our journey through three key initiatives: Tree Canada Partnership, Beef Sustainability and Sustainable Packaging,” says Nault.

Since its partnership with Tree Canada started in 2020, Harvey’s has planted more than 200,000 trees, with a goal of planting 250,000 trees by 2026 that will offset over 42700 co2 in their lifetime. Known for serving 100-per-cent Canadian beef, the brand’s partnership with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) has allowed Harvey’s to support sustainable practices by sourcing at least 30 per cent of its Original Burger beef from farms and ranches certified to CRSB standards. 

The brand has also made big strides in its commitment to sustainable packaging, removing plastic straws from all locations, switching to packaging made with recycled paper that are compostable and recyclable, cutlery made with birch and gravy cups made with bamboo.

Proud history 

Throughout its 65 years in business, Nault says Harvey’s has stayed true to its founder’s vision.

“We have a long history of serving Canadians,” says Nault. Homegrown customization and quality offerings are at the root of the business and what has made generations of guests keep coming back
to Harvey’s.” 

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