The Boston Pizza sign went up Nov. 14. The restaurant is scheduled to start construction in the spring and open in October of 2019. – Morinville News File Photo
by Colin Smith
In Morinville, the time for Boston Pizza has come.
An outlet of the popular restaurant franchise is being opened in the town next year by Ryan and Lauren Andrews.
Ryan works for Landrex, the land development company owned by his father Larry Andrews, and the restaurant will be located in the company’s Westwind development, on 100th Street north of Westmor Landing.
Construction is to begin in the spring on the 5,300 to 5,600 square foot restaurant, which will include a family dining side and a sports bar side, along with a three-season patio and a private room for party rentals. October is the target for opening.
In a recent interview, Ryan said it was no easy task securing the Boston Pizza franchise, which he and Lauren will co-own through a company called Landrex Restaurants.
“They are very selective about who they partner with,” he said. “It took me the better part of two years to convince them we were the right partner and Morinville was the right place.”
Ryan noted that Lauren also played a major role in the process.
“Lauren was responsible for the preliminary research that lead us to securing the franchise – looking at the demographics, writing a report for Boston Pizza International that helped them decide that Morinville was the place to go.”
According to Ryan, Boston Pizza had its eye on Morinville for some time as the town has continued to grow and prosper.
“They saw in us an opportunity to ensure the franchise is a success. They really are experts at determining whether a franchise will be successful.”
The project sprang from what Ryan saw as the limited restaurant choice in the town, pushing people to drive to St. Albert for dinner even when highway conditions are poor.
“Morinville is seriously lacking on the restaurant side. There isn’t really somewhere that offers the restaurant experience that people are demanding today.”
“I saw that Morinville was in great need of somewhere you could take the kids for a pizza after hockey games.”
Having identified the need, Ryan saw a Boston Pizza restaurant as the solution.
“It was Boston Pizza or nothing because of the strength of their brand, the high quality of the food and service,” he said.
“I’ve been eating there with my friends since I was in school. I thought it made a lot of sense for Morinville. It’s the type of restaurant that caters to everybody.”
The restaurant will provide dozens of jobs in the local economy, Ryan stated. Creating a scholarship program for employees will be one way in which they will be making a contribution to Morinville and its residents.
“Landrex has a long history of giving back to the communities in which we operate,” said Ryan. We won Business Leader Canada’s Volunteer Award for the Prairie Provinces. We would continue our tradition of supporting non-profits in the Town of Morinville directly through Boston Pizza.”
Along with efforts to help out Morinville’s less-fortunate residents, they will also continue a strong involvement with youth sports, such as supporting baseball and hockey tournaments.
“We’re going to bring some excitement into the youth sports scene,” he said.
Started in 1964, Boston Pizza now has more than 380 restaurants in Canada, serving more than 40 million customers annually.
“They know what works and they are constantly listening to their franchisees and customers to understand the recipes for success,” Ryan said. “I want to be part of that success.
“These are going to be our principles: top-notch customer service, great value proposition of the food and drinks, and a modern, clean atmosphere.”