Canadian global QSR franchise bands together to boost support for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation
Pita Pit, the fresh thinking, healthy eating brand founded in Kingston, Ontario more than 20 years ago, continues to raise the bar in the ways it supports the communities it serves across Canada. During the brand’s annual national franchise conference, held this year in Huntsville in the heart of the Muskoka region of Ontario, nearly 200 Pita Pit franchisees, corporate staff, and vendor partners worked together to raise more than $45,000 for motionball and the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.
The efforts are aimed at increasing Pita Pit Canada’s strong partnership with motionball, a not-for-profit organization that builds awareness and raises funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and targets the ‘next generation’ of supporters. To highlight the partnership, the brand held various events throughout the three-day conference, including auctions, fundraisers, and a highly-anticipated lip-sync tribute to the Tragically Hip lead by Pita Pit employee and Special Olympian athlete Ethan Mustard, Pita Pit founder Nelson Lang and Pita Pit Canada President Kevin Pressbuger. Building on the musical momentum, nearly one-third of the total amount raised at the conference came from attendees purchasing a copy of an original song written by Mustard titled ‘Top of the World.’
“It is truly an honor for Pita Pit to have the opportunity to partner with an organization like motionball, and we had such a fun time bonding together in the Muskokas to do it,” said Pressbuger. “Supporting motionball’s mission means more to us than just showing up at motionball Marathon of Sport events with pitas. motionball positively influences the lives of nearly one million Canadians with intellectual disabilities. Ethan Mustard is such a great ambassador for the work that Special Olympics Canada does, and we were so thrilled to have him in Hunstville with us to help take our great partnership to the next level.”
In addition to supporting motionball, some of the funds raised at this year’s conference will also go to support the Muskoka chapter of Special Olympics Canada.
“Pita Pit has been community focused from day one, and our charge has always been to make everywhere we serve across Canada a better place than when we arrived,” said Chris Fountain, Pita Pit Canada CEO. “This year, we asked consumers across Canada to Refuse to Settle for anything less than millions of fresh, grilled flavor combinations, and we challenged the entire QSR industry to rise to the opportunity to be better. We wanted to live the Refuse to Settle mindset through our national conference this year as well, and we’re so proud to be able to do that by supporting such a great organization in the Muskokas.”
Pita Pit also took time during this year’s conference to highlight individual franchisees who continue to propel the brand’s growth by out-hustling and out-working the competition and making customer service their highest priority. Among this year’s award winners are:
- Franchisee of the Year: Andrew Bridle – Bracebridge and Huntsville, ON
- Rookie of the Year: Robert Mills – St. Stephen, NB
- Best Boost of the Year: Frank and Collen Mullen and Tony Dell’omo – Mississauga, ON
The brand also recognized franchisees who have fully embraced the ideals behind “Refuse to Settle,” naming them as “peak performers” among the entire Pita Pit Canada system:
- Connie Hoffman – Milton, ON
- Melanie Fenner – Bedford, New Minas and Sackville, NS
- Shannon Helmer – St. Thomas, ON
- Michel Lalonde – Trois-Rivières, QC
- Pat Kane – Whitby, ON
“Each year, we are so fortunate to able to recognize our dedicated franchisees who help drive our success and represent all that Pita Pit stands for in communities across Canada,” said Pressbuger. “By celebrating them and working together with our partners to support great causes like motionball and Special Olympics Canada Foundation, we continue to show why we refuse to settle for anything less than being Canada’s best fast casual brand.”
About Pita Pit
Founded in 1995 in Kingston, Ontario near Queen’s University, Pita Pit® is an innovative fast casual restaurant with a unique mindset that challenges consumers to Refuse to Settle™ for anything less than quality, healthy, freshly grilled food. After rapidly earning a loyal following in its home market, franchising began across Canada in 1997 and, in 1999, the brand expanded to the United States. Now boasting more than 650 stores across North America and internationally across 13 countries, Pita Pit offers its customers millions of ridiculously delicious, customizable flavour combinations of grilled meats, fresh vegetables, and zesty sauces all rolled into a unique and convenient pita package. For more information about Pita Pit, visit www.pitapit.ca or www.facebook.com/pitapitcanada.