Gastronomy | La Cage stirs the cage

A new group of restaurateurs is formed under the name of Grandio

Posted at 6:00 am

Nathaelle Morissette

Nathaelle Morissette
The press

Sportscene – which manages La Cage – Brasserie Sportive – becomes Grandio. This brand new group of restaurateurs, with more than a dozen chains and fifty branches, will allow Cochon dingue, a Quebec institution, to establish itself on the Montreal landscape. The goal of this group: to create a “new flagship of Quebec”.

Groupe Grandio, which will be officially launched at the end of July, will notably bring together La Cage – Brasserie sportive, Cochon dingue, Chez Lionel, Crémy Pâtisserie and Moishes. Each brand will continue to operate independently.

This organizational structure is essentially managed by Jean Bédard, President and CEO of Groupe Grandio – formerly Sportscene (La Cage – Brasserie sportive, Moishes) -, Pierre Moreau, CEO of Restos Plaisirs (Cochon dingue, Lapin sauté, Café du monde), and Champlain Financial Corporation. She took over the management of Sportscene together with Jean Bédard when the company was privatized earlier this year.

Created in response to the pandemic that has hit restaurateurs hard, Grandio will allow local businesses to continue thriving in Quebec, according to Pierre Moreau. “The danger when we experience crises like this is that the Americans will come and pick up our stores. It made me happy to say that I would be with a gang that wanted to keep our businesses in Quebec,” he said during a phone interview.


PHOTO ERICK LABBÉ, LE SOLEIL ARCHIVE

Pierre Moreau, CEO of Restos Plaisirs (crazy pig, sautéed rabbit, world coffee)

Grandio will also allow multiple chains to come out of their fold. “We made this deal to bring Cochon Dingue to Montreal, that’s for sure,” says Jean Bédard. Restos Plaisirs had been planning to set up operations in the South Shore, North Crown and possibly the metropolis for some time, but the pandemic derailed the Quebec-headquartered company’s plans.

With the Groupe Grandio, the project will finally be able to materialize, which demonstrates the strength and advantage of being part of such a group, says Jean Bédard. “We have the financial strength of Groupe Champlain behind us. »

For us it will be a growth accelerator. I have partners who are already well established in the Montreal area. They will help us identify locations where we could develop our brands.

Pierre Moreau, CEO of Restos Plaisirs

Is there a risk in trying to branch further west where the market differs from Quebec’s? “I still have a bit of experience in gastronomy, I’ve been doing it for 30 years,” he recalls with a smile in his voice. We will now have a great team that knows the markets well. I’m really not concerned about our ability to establish ourselves in the greater Montreal area,” Moreau adds, while acknowledging that “small adjustments” may be necessary.

For its part, the Moishes restaurant, an institution on Saint-Laurent Boulevard for 80 years and bought in 2018 by Sportscene, which will reopen in the fall in the Caisse de dépôt et Placement building, could stretch out its tentacles to Ottawa. “We’re going to create a great platform for Quebec brands that we’re going to try to develop in Quebec or maybe outside of Quebec for specific brands with a foothold,” explains Jean Bédard.

Pandemic and Consolidation

By his own admission, Jean Bédard believes that Groupe Grandio would not have seen the light of day had it not been for a health crisis related to COVID-19. “The pandemic has reshuffled the cards. »

For two years, Jean Bédard and Pierre Moreau, who have known each other for years, have multiplied the discussions. They were also in contact with other restaurateurs. “We got very close. We shared some of the same fears. We spoke once a week. During this time we got to know each other better. »

“It’s sad because there are some who have nice brands and nice restaurants and they give up because they’re exhausted,” he says. According to him, forming a group allows you to have stronger kidneys and survive bad weather.

Even if he admits that there is currently a strong trend towards consolidation, especially in the catering industry, the boss of Groupe Grandio assures that the creation of the new entity is not a counterweight to Foodtastic or even MTY. “I’m not the type to do things against others,” he says. It’s not an answer to anything. There is obviously a big consolidation going on right now. »

As for Grandio, other brands could soon join the group, assures Jean Bédard. “It’s not over yet, we want to have other partners who share the same values. It’s a start. »

Grandio group

  • Sportcene becomes the Grandio Group
  • Channels: La Cage – Brasserie sporty, Restos Plaisirs (crazy pig, sautéed rabbit, Ciel!, Paris Grill, Café du Monde, JaJa, Madame Chose), Chez Lionel-Brasserie française, IRU Izakaya, Crémy Pâtisserie and Moishes
  • Number of branches: 55
  • Number of employees: 3800
  • Headquarters: Boucherville

Other restaurant groups

Foodtastic

  • Some chains: La Belle & La Bœuf, Second Cup, L’Gros Luxe, Rotisseries Benny, Copper Branch, Nickel’s
  • Number of restaurants in Quebec: more than 200
  • Total number of restaurants in the country: 722
  • More than twenty brands
  • Headquarters: Montreal

MTY Power Group

  • Some channels: Mikes, Sushi Shop, Thaï Express, Bâton Rouge, Scores
  • More than 6,700 establishments, including 1,154 in Quebec (17%), 39% in Canada (including Quebec), 54% in the United States and 7% in other parts of the world with 80 brands
  • Headquarters: Montreal

recipe group

  • Some chains: St-Hubert, Harvey’s, New York Fries (NYF), East Side Mario’s
  • 1261 restaurants in Canada and around the world through 21 brands. 178 places to eat in Quebec City
  • Headquarters: Vaughan, Ontario

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