Next up for Ontario’s Mr. Greek chain: total world domination
Like David Hasselhoff and 7-Eleven, Canadian chain Mr. Greek may be the latest North American invention to hit it way bigger overseas than here at home. In Ontario, it’s a middling Greek restaurant, often confused with its near-doppelganger, The Friendly Greek. Halfway across the world, it’s a culinary trailblazer. Earlier this year, the restaurant launched its first international franchise—and Kuwait’s first ever Greek restaurant—in a mall food court in Kuwait City. A nearby sit-down restaurant will soon follow in a nearby Intercontinental Hotel. After that, who knows.
“The possibilities are endless now,” president and CEO George Raios told the Star. After the successful Kuwaiti launch, he got calls from interested companies based in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, India and Russia. “Of course, we need to be extremely careful. My first priority is to our partner and friend in Kuwait. If it goes to different regions, so be it.” The partner in question is Kuwait-based entrepreneur Ahmad Bajour, who scouted restaurants in Australia and the U.S. (but not, apparently, Greece) before settling on the Canadian chain as the ideal culinary concept to transport to the Middle East. And so, Canada’s list of cultural exports gets even more random with this latest addition: passable souvlaki.