Vast majority of Canadians stick close to U.S. border, intel says
We may share a border with Canada and a language, but there are some subtle differences that wise franchisors should note. Here’s the 411 to consider.
Population: 34.8 million
Official language: English and French (Chinese is third) 60 percent English speakers, 24 percent French
Religion: 46 percent Roman Catholics; 41 Protestants
Urbanization: 81 percent
Type of government: Federal multiparty parliamentary democracy, with the provinces holding more power than U.S. states do. Head of government is the Prime Minister.
Layout of the Land: 10 provinces and three territories
Uniqueness: In Quebec, business signage and materials must be printed in both French and English
GDP: $1.8 trillion (ranked 14th in world)
GDP growth: 1.6 percent
Internet users: 86.8 percent of population (more than the U.S.)
Demographics: 15.5 percent of population is 1-14 years (children services) and 16.8 percent are over 65 (senior services)
Entrepreneurship: 18 percent of employable people are self-employed
World Bank’s Doing Business Measurement: 1.07 percent new business density (25,723 LLCs per 1,000 employable-age people) in 2012. This is viewed as a measurement for entrepreneurship.
Literacy: 99 percent
Franchise Association: Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)
CFA members: 600, of which 71 percent are franchisors who represent 500 brands; 29 percent are vendors and 15 percent are U.S.-based franchisors
U.S. Commercial Service Offices: Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver
American Chamber of Commerce: www.amchamcanada.ca
Major cities (to start in): Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary
Transportation: 4th in number of airports (1,46 total of airports with 523 that have paved runways); 3 major seaports
Labor force: Highly skilled, although workers can be harder to find outside major metro areas
Examples of homegrown franchises: Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Great Canadian Dollar Store, Second Cup, Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters, Lice Squad
Franchise mix: 36 percent of franchises are restaurants
No. of restaurants: 81,400
Vanity Index ranking: 12th (meaning only 20 percent of Canadians think about their looks all the time), right below the worldwide rank
Negotiation style: Facts are valued over feelings
Time zones: Spans six time zones
Geography: Second largest country in the world (Russia is first), shares border with U.S.
Population disbursement: About 90 percent of Canada’s population is concentrated within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
Measuring system: Metric
Currency: The Canadian Dollar (at presstime the exchange rate was $1.00 U.S. to $1.10 Canadian)
Law: Common law, except for Quebec which uses the French civil code
Sources: Canadian Franchise Association; CIA World Factbook; “Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands” guide; Vanity Index; Wikipedia; World Bank; U.S. Commercial Service website.
Annual restaurant sales : $68 billion
Average yearly spend: $2,167 per household in 2012
No. of direct jobs : 1,126,200
Chain restaurants : 37 percent
Source: Canadian Franchise Association
Since the vast majority of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border, franchises would be wise to consider locating first to the five main cities: Montreal (3.75 M), Ottawa (the capital, 1.2 M), Calgary (1.16M), Vancouver (2.1M) and Toronto (5.3M).
If you choose to locate units here, you’ll need to become bi-lingual, or at least your contracts, signage and labels will. The government mandates all business correspondence be in both English and French.