Smoke’s is Heating Up

In recent months, the owners of popular Canadian chain Smoke’s Poutinerie announced plans to grow its brand through rapid global expansion and exploration of on-trend foods like indulgent hot dogs and burritos. The chain is one that competitors, particularly those targeting Millennials, should keep their eyes on. Here we will take an in-depth look at Smoke’s strategies:

  • Expansion. Smoke’s Poutinerie intends to open 1,300 restaurants around the world by 2020. Global expansion plans are heavily concentrated in the U.S. with an expected 800 units launching there over the next five years. The company is also looking to open 150 locations in Western Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Smoke’s also plans to double its footprint in Canada by adding 100 units primarily in Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada. Growth in Canada will be focused on nontraditional venues like sports arenas, college campuses and amusement parks.
  • New Concept. The owners of Smoke’s Poutinerie first debuted the new Smoke’s Weinerie concept in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in December. The chain currently has two additional Weinerie units in Toronto and Oshawa, Ontario. The new venture offers a range of hot dogs with nontraditional toppings like peanut butter and jelly or chipotle pulled pork with garlic chips. The concept appeals to clientele comparable to that of Smoke’s Poutinerie, which includes primarily Millennials looking for unique, adventurous and late-night dining options.
  • Future Concept. In addition to its newly launched hot dog concept, Smoke’s announced plans to launch a new burrito chain. The company is slated to open 15 Smoke’s Burritories this fall. The Mexican-inspired concept will offer burritos made with ingredients like roasted corn, black beans, specialty sauces, rice and chorizo. The first unit is planned to debut in Toronto in September.

If Smoke’s sticks to its plans, the chain’s fearlessness has the potential to produce positive and profitable results. However, it can’t be ignored that taking on this much at can be a challenge for the chain. Should Smoke’s stick to what it knows or will these lofty goals prove successful? Only time will tell.

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Patrick Noone

With more than 15 years of experience in the research/consulting industry, Patrick Noone, Executive Vice President, Business Development, is integrally involved in the sales, development and marketing of Technomic's online resources, reports and custom studies—tools that provide clients with actionable industry data that supports their strategic and tactical business planning processes. He also manages Technomic's Business Development and Client Service teams.

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