Concept Watch

Concept Watch: Farrow, Streats, BlackBall

By Katie Belflower

In the latest edition of Concept Watch, RestoBiz and Technomic highlight three standout restaurant concepts on show in Canadian foodservice.

This month, the focus is on Farrow, Streats, and BlackBall and how their restaurants are broadening the horizons of Canadian foodservice.


Farrow’s Chili Ray Cyrus sandwich features chile pulled pork, refried beans, shredded cheddar, onion, sour cream, jalapeno and arugula
Image Source: Farrow Facebook

Facebook: 3,654 likes | Instagram: 28,400 followers | Twitter: 2,894 followers

Locations: 4 (Edmonton, Alberta)

Concept characteristics:

  • Quick-service concept focuses on craft sandwiches
  • Small, quirky interiors with pickup counters and limited barstool seating
  • Catering services available for various events
  • Merchandise for sale including mugs and shirts

Menu snapshot:

  • Large selection of meat and vegetarian or vegan options for sandwiches
  • Creative sandwich accompaniments include pickled ginger, flavoured aioli and cheese curds
  • Housemade baked good rotate every few weeks
  • Passionate coffee culture showcased through their work with third-wave roasters across the world


Streats Baja Fish Taco
Image Source: Streats Instagram

Facebook: 1,701 likes | Instagram: 10,400 followers | Twitter: 162 followers

Locations: 15 (British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba)

Concept characteristics:

  • Fast-casual, eco-conscious emerging chain
  • Stores average 1,200 square feet
  • Expanding through franchising as part of Joey’s Franchise Group
  • Open kitchen allows guests to watch food preparation

Menu snapshot:

  • Menu spotlights globally-inspired street fare fusions
  • Housemade preparations and fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients
  • Nontraditional poutines include Mexican, pierogi and chicken and waffle
  • Taco varieties include Baja fish, peri-peri chicken and veggie


Blackball Canada’s interior, featuring their Mini Ball mascots
Image Source: Blackball Canada Facebook

Facebook: 131 likes | Instagram: 1,580 followers

Locations: 5 (Richmond, Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario)

Concept characteristics:

  • Taiwanese desserts and drinks chain founded in Taipei
  • Interiors feature artistic, colourful murals of the brand’s Mini Ball mascots
  • Global presence includes locations in Asia, Australia and North America
  • Canada locations are 1,200-1,500 square feet

Menu snapshot:

  • Better-for-you positioning of grass jelly and other fare appeals to health enthusiasts
  • Housemade preparations featuring many local Canadian ingredients, such as milk
  • Signature grass jelly desserts are served hot or cold with toppings such as sesame mini balls and matcha mini balls
  • Beverage selection includes milk teas and bubble teas

Concept Watch is based on restaurant and menu trends noted by Technomic Inc.

Katie Belflower is Associate Editor for Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice research and consulting firm. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. The company’s services include publications and digital products as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry, including menu trends.