Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill

Dining for Every Sports Fan

Originating in 1985, Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill opened its first location in Toronto, Ontario. Fred Lopreiato, CEO and Founder quickly recognized the brand’s potential and began expanding through franchising. Lopreiato began offering franchise opportunities to willing and committed franchisees and opened the first franchised location in 1997.

“Today, over thirty years later, there are 35+ locations across Canada, Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill, the Ultimate Sports Destination, is opening its doors to new locations in Toronto, Pickering, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, London, Saskatchewan and Alberta in 2018. “We are delighted to have expanded our unique and social sports viewing experience to new communities across Canada,” says Frank Lopreiato, President of Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill. “In our restaurants, we celebrate sports everyday and provide an experience that brings people together. We are confident that our inviting and high-energy atmosphere will attract sports fans of all types. Shoeless Joe’s continues to innovate, expand and thrive both in Ontario and across the country. Our commitment to continually evolve the brand and the new design of our stores, has played a major role in the success of our growth and our ability to compete in this ever-changing landscape”.

Elevating the experience

Shoeless Joe’s new store design continues to maintain its unique offerings, but many of the new elements are designed to showcase the evolution of the brand and provide guests with an unparalleled sports-centric casual dining experience. Every guest has an incredible seat and view of all the action on the big-screen HD TVs. A state-of-the-art audio/visual package brings sporting events to life and makes Shoeless Joe’s the Ultimate Sports Destination for sports enthusiasts. It truly is the next best thing to being at the game!

Culinary revolution

Food and sports work hand in hand to bring communities together. A sense of camaraderie and indelible memories is created when fans can have an enjoyable meal after work with colleagues, root for the home team, or simply share a dining experience with their special partner. Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill celebrates how people and communities connect through food and continues to differentiate itself as the Ultimate Sports Destination delivering a superior dining experience.

“We need to regularly adapt to the constantly evolving tastes of our consumers and the latest food and beverage trends. We have made significant changes to diversify our menu offerings and we continue to invest in product development. Much of the creativity is derived from our culinary team and feedback from the chefs working within our restaurants” says Lopreiato. The company’s new menu will feature innovative, made-to-order sustainable menu items including never frozen, 100% Canadian Chuck Burgers, authentic Korean Gochujang Bowl, ASC and MSC Sesame Salmon and a hearty Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. Sports fans of all ages can enjoy a gourmet chef-inspired menu in a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere.

Fan engagement

Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill recognizes that to be competitive in the future it needs to move from a “one to many” style of fan engagement to a “one to one” personalized approach to all fans. Critical to this is an on-going process to introduce new systems across all of its restaurants. “We will acquire best-in-class technology that provides traditional and mobile capabilities while incorporating advanced data and analytics for better business and predictive functionality” Lopreiato states. “This is a game-changer; the way we will connect with our fans will be significantly different in the future.”

Cultivating passion

“What has defined the company from the beginning is its belief in people, cultivating partnerships and strong relationships with franchisees. Our business infrastructure provides strategic brand management and operational support, which is critical to the overall success of the brand” says Lopreiato. “Our franchisees are focused on continuing the momentum of our brand in the casual dining sector. We look forward to sharpening our enterprise by enhancing customer loyalty, improving profitability and the implementation of new systems.”

“Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill’s continued success propelled the company to consider further expansion. We want to develop new territories and foster organic growth in the system. Our company’s philosophy is to make it an attractive choice for potential and existing franchisees,” continues Lopreiato. As Ryan Sutherland, Saskatoon franchisee states “There’s nothing more exciting than to own your own business and be passionate about it. Shoeless Joe’s Support Centre has provided the necessary tools and support to ensure our success – I’ve recently invested in a second location opening in 2019, and hope to continue expanding the business in the Saskatoon market.”

To reach the next step, Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill will begin seeking area development deals for franchisees with experience running multiple stores. “We’re going to be looking for area representatives and area developers,” Lopreiato says. Using area developers will allow Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill to reach its expansion goals more quickly.

Serving up success

As Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill looks ahead, it is focused on achieving goals aimed at ensuring the best guest experience possible. The company has already taken great strides in improving and enhancing its food and beverage offerings, and it is now aiming to raise the guest experience so all interactions are part of a great experience. “The brand really emphasizes teamwork and a lot of our training is centered on how we work as a team,” Lopreiato says.

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