Restaurants Canada announces new chair of the board

Restaurants Canada, the national not-for-profit foodservice association representing over 30,000 members across Canada, has announced the election of Mike Yasinski, President of Rally Social Room, as the new Chair of the Board of Directors.

As Chair, Yasinski will be responsible for overseeing Restaurants Canada’s Board and will work closely with the association’s Interim President and CEO, Roy Little, to not only focus on helping restaurant operators bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis, but ensure they are also able to achieve long term success in the post-pandemic economy. 

“It is a true privilege to have been given the opportunity to serve Restaurants Canada members as the Chair of the Board,” Yasinski said at the 2022 Annual General Meeting. 

“I look forward to pairing my industry insight and expertise with the brilliant minds on the Board, the executive team, and those among the members of Restaurants Canada to keep our industry moving forward, and towards rebuilding it stronger than ever.”

Yasinski, has 25 years of industry experience and was formerly the President, CEO, and co-founder of Gateway Entertainment, Hudsons Canadian Hospitality, and Hudsons Pub.

Under his leadership, those companies launched many successful concepts including The Standard, Union Hall, The Ranch, and Hudsons, which grew to 10 locations in two provinces and five major cities across Western Canada.

Today, he is working on opening his latest concept, an activity based bar and restaurant, the Rally Social Room, in Edmonton. 

Yasinski succeeds Cindy Simpson, Executive Vice-President of Imago Restaurants Inc., who was elected as Chair in March 2021.

“It’s been such an honour to lead the Board over the last year. The challenges we’ve overcome have not only been humbling, but have also reminded me of the passion and strength this industry exudes,” said Simpson. “Supporting this association as it has played an integral role in speaking on behalf of restaurateurs nationwide, advocating exclusively for foodservice, and ensuring resources were in place to pull our industry out of the pandemic has been an absolute pleasure.”

Interim President and CEO Little noted that Simpson played an integral role in leading Restaurants Canada’s Board through a significant part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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