about us

After over 20 years, we still believe in putting our people, our guests, and the communities we serve at the heart of all we do. Taking Care of People is the ‘not so secret, secret’ that connects all the Franworks brands and amazing team members.

Taking Care of People means we celebrate each team member for who they are, while providing them with the tools they need to succeed. It means providing a memorable experience every time a guest walks through the door, whether they’re enjoying a meal, having a cold beer, or celebrating a special occasion. It means living our values in the communities we operate in and making a difference wherever we can.

And, while the Franworks name may not be familiar to all, the collective power of our portfolio of five iconic brands enables us to make a meaningful impact across these areas.

Taking Care of People is at the core of everything we do. We’ve always been about people, and we always will be. We depend on the energy of every team member, in every department and in every restaurant to help us collectively be the best.
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Our Story in a Timeline

2000
Franworks is born in Calgary, Alberta as a franchising consultancy. The Franworks brand stands for ‘Franchising Works’. Clients include Opa! of Greece, Fiasco Gelato, Pogo Pix, etc.
Desktop computer showing Franworks Projects Corp., OPA! of Greece, Fiasco logos
2002
Franworks shifts focus to owning and operating two emerging restaurant concepts: Opa! Souvlaki and Original Joe’s Restaurant & Bar (OJ’s).
Bar tender at Añejo pouring an alcoholic beverage
Original Joe's Marda Loop
2006
After growing Opa! Souvlaki from 2 to 50 units, Franworks sells its 50% interest in the chain to focus on OJ’s growth.
2010
Original Joe’s is named one of Canada’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies by Profit Magazine’s, while hitting 30+ locations.
An open magazine with Original Joe's article on the left page, and Profit 100, Canada's fastest growing companies 2010 on the right.
2012
State & Main brand is developed and launched + acquisition of Elephant & Castle brand, overnighting the Company into US market.
2014
Expansion of State & Main brand into Ontario with first location in Guelph 2 years after the launch of the brand.
State & Main restaurant store front
2016
Recipe Unlimited (formerly known as Cara Operations Limited) acquires a majority ownership interest in Original Joe’s, State & Main, and Elephant & Castle.
2017
State & Main operating in 4 provinces with 25+ locations in first 5 years of brand existence, OJ's operating in 4 provinces with 55+ locations.
Map of Canada showing State & Main restaurant locations
2019
The Company purchases the assets of Añejo Restaurant and Blanco Cantina, 2 Mexican themed restaurants.
Añejo restaurant logo in white Blanco Cantina logo
2020
Franworks celebrates 20 years in business!
FranWorks 20 year logo
2021
Even through a Pandemic, Franworks continues to see growth with 4 Blanco locations and 1 new OJ’s restaurant.
Original Joe's Restaurant front in Marda Loop, Calgary
2022
5 Casual Full Service Restaurants brands operating in 2 countries with roughly 100 locations and continued growth.
Want to know more about our brands?
Franworks’ family of restaurants features some of Canada’s most recognizable and successful brands in casual full-service dining – Original Joe’s, State & Main, Elephant & Castle, Blanco Cantina, and Añejo Restaurant.