Our Story

Expansion Plan...
The word got out in a hurry, and the 28 seats in his restaurant were constantly full. “After six months, we were busy,” so Arraf launched into what he describes as the first phase of the Montfort Grill House – expansion. He opened nine restaurants between 1993 and 1999, running the chain that stretched from Hamilton to Toronto “by myself.” And, he admits candidly, “it was too much work, too much to manage.”

The model he knew from Holland didn’t adapt well to a multi-city chain in Canada. In the Netherlands, his brother’s chain had included 12 restaurants within one small city – “you could walk it.” Not something one could do from Hamilton to Toronto. “It was too difficult to handle” all of them under a corporate banner. “I changed my strategy,” says Arraf. “I started to franchise.” He sold some of the restaurants in 1999, and with his new philosophy, started again with a new business model. It took a few years to get all of that planning in place, but “in 2002, I started all over again as a franchiser.” Bishara Arraf kept only one restaurant as a corporate entity: the Montfort Grill House at 796 Brant Street in Burlington.

Restaurant Chains...
Finding franchisees was not a problem – although finding the right ones is key to the success of a franchise operation. Arraf’s initial success brought a raft of inquires. “We were so busy, I got many offers from people who wanted to open a second business as a partnership.” The second Montfort Grill House was opened in Mississauga, and “that went very well.”