Milestones restaurants started in Vancouver in the 1980s, but as of late 2020 the last location within city limits had closed for good, leaving only a smattering of outposts in the Metro region and in B.C.
Now comes news its parent company, Ontario-based mega-chain operator Recipe Unlimited, is selling off Milestones to another major Canadian restaurant player.
Recipe Unlimited announced June 14 the sale of Milestones to Quebec-based Foodtastic Inc.
The company says it is focusing on "younger" brands "that offer attractive opportunities for accelerated new restaurant growth."
Recipe Unlimited owns several restaurant chains familiar to Metro Vancouver residents, like The Keg, Montana's, and Original Joe's, however its concentration is decidedly based in eastern Canada, with a number of chains with dwindling or no presence in British Columbia, like Swiss Chalet, Elephant & Castle, and East Side Mario's, among many others, on its roster.
Foodtastic, on the other hand, is the franchisor for numerous chains with deep ties to Quebec, like La Belle et La Boeuf, Rotisseries Benny, and L'Gros Luxe. One of its brands, the plant-based fast casual Montreal chain Copper Branch, opened its first - and only - Vancouver location in Yaletown in March 2020.
Now it appears Foodtastic's strategy is to bring Milestones to Quebec; what that means for any expansion in B.C. for the locally-born chain remains to be seen.
"We are extremely impressed by the Milestones restaurant brand and are excited to welcome them into the Foodtastic family," said Peter Mammas, President and CEO of Foodtastic. "We look forward to welcoming all our new franchisees, teammates and customers. This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality Canadian brands with growth potential, and we are excited to introduce Milestones to the Quebec market."
In 2002, after being acquired by Cara - now known as Recipe Unlimited - the Milestones brand saw significant expansion in the east, mostly in the company's headquarter province, Ontario.
After closing up its last Vancouver Milestones location, on Cambie north of Broadway, back in the fall of 2020, Recipe Unlimited also brought an end to a few of its restaurants in Metro Vancouver. In late October 2020, Recipe Unlimited shuttered side-by-side locations of some of their last remaining Swiss Chalet and Harvey's outposts in B.C.
Earlier in 2020, the company had closed its Montana's location in Coquitlam Centre permanently, too.
Milestones currently operates locations in West Vancouver, Tsawwassen, Langley, Surrey, and Coquitlam. Further afield in B.C. are outposts in Abbotsford, Whistler, Victoria, and Kelowna.