Canadian vegan fast-food chain Odd Burger (formerly known as Globally Local) is planning to open 36 new locations in Alberta and British Columbia before 2029. This will bring the chain’s total to nearly 50 locations across Canada and the United States. With these expansion plans in place, the brand is poised to become the largest vegan fast-food chain in the world.
Odd Burger offers a large menu featuring vegan versions of items commonly found in mainstream fast-food restaurants, including breakfast sandwiches such as the Faconator (made with a sausage patty, vegan cheddar cheese, and a tofu-based egg); burgers such as the Vopper (which features a chickpea-based patty topped with tempeh bacon); “chikUN” sandwiches in Buffalo, crispy, and sticky (slathered in Korean sesame sauce) varieties; along with salads, onion rings, milkshakes, soft serve, and more.
For the new locations in Western Canada, Odd Burger partnered with family-owned hospitality group Sai-Ganesh Enterprises (SGE), which will oversee franchise sales to individual owners, store construction, and support for franchises in its territory. In addition to supporting franchise growth, SGE plans to launch a corporate restaurant location in the area that will be used for training new franchisees.
“Western Canada is a great place for Odd Burger to expand, and a partnership with an experienced territory developer gives us a kickstart to our growth plans, plus it gives those franchisees strong support,” Odd Burger co-founder and CEO James McInnes told VegNews. “In the future, I can see us signing other area developers not only in Canada, but also across the United States and even internationally.”
World’s first 24-hour vegan drive-thru
Founded in 2016 in London, ON, Odd Burger became the world’s first vegan fast-food chain to offer a 24-hour drive-thru when it took over a shuttered location of popular Canadian fast-food chain Harvey’s in 2017. Last year, the chain hit another first when it began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s (TSE) Venture Exchange, making it the first publicly traded vegan fast-food chain in the world. It is now traded on the TSE under the symbol ODD, on the OTCQB under ODDAF, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under IA9.
Currently, the chain has locations in six Ontario cities (Toronto, London, Windsor, Vaughan, Waterloo, and Hamilton) with Whitby, Brampton, and a second Toronto location opening by this summer. New locations in Calgary, AB, Ottawa, ON, and Victoria, BC are currently in development. Odd Burger also operates a manufacturing facility in London, ON where it creates its proprietary plant-based proteins and dairy alternatives such as burgers, chickUn filets, sausages, and dairy-free sauces.
Last month, Odd Burger announced the creation of its new Preposterous Foods brand that offers a minimal-ingredient, minimally processed line of products for the foodservice sector including its crispy “chickUN” burger, meatless wings, beefy ground meat, gyro meat, breakfast sausage, dairy-free ranch dressing, “honey” mustard sauce, tzatziki sauce, eggless mayo, and dairy-free cheese sauce. The line of plant-based proteins and sauces is distributed exclusively through food service company Sysco.
“It may seem preposterous, but indulgent food can be healthy, and healthy food can be indulgent,” McInnes said in a statement. “Thanks to new innovations and upgrades in our manufacturing facility, we’re now able to produce plant-based proteins and other treats at scale for broader distribution, and bring utterly Preposterous Foods to a bigger market.”
The chain is also planning to open its first US location in New York City, where it is currently searching for the right space. “It’s a very competitive real estate market there,” McInnes told VegNews. “The good news is we’ll offer franchise opportunities across the United States soon, in various parts of the country. Working with franchisees that have expertise and relationships in their local markets also helps us expand strategically, and gives us the local knowledge to find the right spots.”
Odd Burger revolutionizes fast food
Odd Burger is revolutionizing the fast-food industry not only with its healthier vegan ingredients, but also because all of Odd Burger outposts operate as compact smart kitchens, which use state-of-the-art cooking technology and automation solutions that are particularly favorable during this uncertain COVID-19 era. The company’s technology is optimized for rapid service, takeout and delivery, affordability, and simplified employee training. Its smart kitchens also feature online ordering, self-checkout kiosks, and cashless transactions.
“SGE is always looking for truly new and unique opportunities in fast food, and Odd Burger is among the most exciting and modern concepts we have ever encountered,” Utsang Desai, president of SGE, said in a statement. “As lifelong vegetarians, we have a passion for healthy eating and environmental stewardship, and Odd Burger also adds innovative technology that enhances efficiency, profitability, and customer experience.”
For more about vegan fast food, read:
7-Eleven Adds Vegan Chicken Tenders to Hot Menu at All 600 Stores in Canada
Burger King is the First Major Fast-Food Chain to Serve Impossible Nuggets
KFC Just Launched Vegan Fried Chicken at More than 4,000 Stores