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Awards of Excellence

The CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising are the pinnacle of franchise achievement in Canada. These awards recognize excellence in franchise operations and winning franchise systems must demonstrate a dedication to superior franchisee relations, leadership, business planning, marketing, training and support, ongoing operations and communications.

To reflect the wide range of franchise opportunities in Canada and to enable franchise systems to be rated against their peers in their class, the Awards of Excellence include seven categories.

Entries are separated into Traditional Franchises (i.e. those with bricks and mortar locations) and Non-Traditional Franchises (i.e. mobile, home-based, etc.), then grouped based on number of franchisees.

Systems with the highest scores in each category are recognized with Bronze, Silver and Gold CFA Awards of Excellence. The prestigious CFA Award of Excellence in Franchising Grand Prize is given to a Gold winner in the Traditional category and a Gold winner in the Non-Traditional category.

Below are the 2019 winners of the CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising competition. They represent the range and diversity of franchising and have demonstrated the strongest, most mutually-rewarding relationships with franchisees amongst participants in the awards program.

Grand Prize Winner - Traditional Franchise

Inspiration Learning Centre

Grand Prize Winner - Non-Traditional Franchise

Driverseat Inc.

Traditional Franchises - 6-15 Franchises

Inspiration Learning Center


Sweet Jesus

Traditional Franchises - 16-29 Franchises

Symposium Café

White Spot Restaurants


Traditional Franchises - 30-99 Franchises

Triple O’s

FASTSIGNS International Inc.

UCMAS  Mental Math Schools

Traditional Franchises - 100+ Franchises

Pizza Nova Take Out Ltd.

A&W Food Services of Canada

Oxford Learning Centres

Non-Traditional Franchises - 6-15 Franchises

Driverseat Inc.


Metropolitan Movers

Non-Traditional Franchises - 16-29 Franchises

Restoration 1 Canada


Right at Home Canada

Non-Traditional Franchises - 30+ Franchises

Paul Davis Restoration Inc.


WP Creations

The Canadian Franchise Association Awards of Excellence are presented annually to franchise systems that have demonstrated the strongest relationships with their franchisees. Entry is free and exclusive to members of the CFA. Here are 5 reasons you should take advantage of this exclusive member benefit and enter the 2019 Awards of Excellence:

  • Bragging rights – if you’re a finalist, you can let prospective franchisees know you’re an award-winning franchise
  • National media coverage – all winners are included in a nationwide media release distributed by CFA, as well as featured in Franchise Canada Magazine editorial
  • Recognition at the CFA National Convention – finalists will be recognized in front of their industry peers during a prestigious awards dinner at CFA’s annual conference
  • We make it easy for you to spread the word – all winners can use the award logo to promote their achievement, plus a press release template that can be easily shared and adapted for your own promotion
  • Valuable feedback from your franchisees – Awards of Excellence and Franchisees’ Choice participants can order a Benchmarking Report to gain critical insights into what you could be doing better

Entry into the CFA Awards Program is free and exclusive to members of the Canadian Franchise Association that:

  • have been franchising for at least 3 years, and
  • have at least 6 franchisees (owners and not just locations)

To qualify, eligible brands must meet certain franchisee participation levels, as follows:

For New and Emerging Systems:

  • with 6-10 franchisees, 100% must participate;

For all other systems:

  • up to 100 franchisees, at least 10 must participate
  • over 100 franchisees, at least 10% must participate

Eligibility requirements are based on Canadian operations.

Entry Process

Entry is by brand – each brand must complete their own questionnaire and submit a distinct franchisee contact list. Entry into the program is free and can be completed in a few easy steps:

  1. Use the button on the upper right to go to the registration page, or request the link from
  2. Complete the registration and choose your start date.
  3. You will be notified via e-mail by The Portage Group of receipt of your registration and you will be requested to provide an electronic contact list of all your franchisees.
  4. Submit your electronic contact list to The Portage Group.
  5. Franchisees will receive an e-mail invitation to participate based on the date you choose. To help franchise systems promote franchisee participation, franchisors are provided with an e-mail template to send to their franchisees. The template provides information about the CFA Awards Program to encourage franchisees to take 15 minutes to complete the online survey.
  6. Franchisees complete the 15-minute Franchisee Survey online and must submit their responses within the specified time.
  7. The Portage Group will amalgamate all of the franchisee responses and determine winners for each category
  8. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 8 at the 2019 CFA National Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Franchisees’ Choice Designation
Franchisees’ Choice Designees are entrants whose survey scores exceed the benchmark standard. Designees are ranked equally and appear alphabetically on a list of winners published on CFA’s website and in its print magazines. Additionally, CFA recognizes consecutive winners who have won more than five years in a row. Learn more.

Awards of Excellence

Survey participants fall into one of seven categories based on type of system and number of franchisees:

Traditional Franchise Systems (i.e. brick and mortar locations) 
6-15 Franchisees
16-29 Franchisees
30-99 Franchisees
100+ Franchisees

Non-Traditional Franchise Systems (i.e. mobile or home-based)
6-15 Franchisees
16-29 Franchisees
30+ Franchisees

Results are calculated from the franchisees’ assessments to determine a Gold, Silver, and Bronze winner for each of the seven categories. Scoring is based on a scale of 1 to 10 to provide a granular assessment and to enhance the value and accuracy of determining a winner.

From among the Gold winners, two Grand Prizes are awarded – one to the entrant with the highest score in the Non-Traditional Category, and one to the entrant with the highest score in the Traditional category. All awards are presented during an Awards Gala at the CFA National Convention.

The optional Benchmarking Report provides significant added value to participants, even to those who participate every year, as understanding the franchisor/franchisee relationship is vital to the success of a franchise system. Newer systems franchising for at least one year can participate in the benchmarking program but are not eligible for the Awards Program.

The Benchmarking Report generated by the Portage Group provides you with the aggregate responses for:

    • Your franchisees’ responses;
    • The responses from all franchisees in the same category;
    • The responses from all franchisee respondents in all categories;
    • …and includes your own responses for reference.

The benchmarking report will provide insight into franchisees’ assessments across the following seven categories:

  • Franchisee Selection Process
  • Leadership
  • Training and Support
  • Operations and Improvement
  • Marketing
  • Franchisor and Franchisee Relations
  • Business Planning

The Benchmark Report is available at a fee of $399 if ordered and pre-paid during the Franchisor Registration process or $599 if ordered after the Awards Gala Dinner on April 8th, 2019.

Order and pay within 30 days of invoice (up until April 8, 2019):$399 (plus tax)
Ordering after April 9th, 2019$599 (plus tax)
Ordering a report

You have two options:

  1. When you register, there will be an option to order a copy of the report.
  2. Contact the CFA Membership department to request a report:

Survey responses will be held in the strictest confidence and no individual respondent or specific brand will be identified. For some questions, respondents will be invited to make comments. These comments will be made available to the franchisor and respondents will be asked not to put any identifying information in the responses unless they wish to be identified for those questions only.

The Portage Group is an independent research firm that has been mandated to administer the CFA Awards Program surveys. Survey responses will be held in the strictest confidence and no individual respondent will be identified.

For some questions, respondents will be invited to make comments. These comments will be made available to the franchisor and respondents will be asked not put any identifying information in the responses unless respondents wish to be identified for those questions only.

The names of the franchise systems participating in the CFA Awards Program are never disclosed except as winners, top finalists or Franchisees’ Choice designees. Franchisee contact information is used solely for the purpose of administering the CFA Awards Program.

Comments From Past CFA Awards Program Winners And Finalists:

“The Franchisees’ choice award is a nice recognition and confirmation that we are doing things right and that our Franchisees are behind us. We have a unique relationship with our franchisees, that is all cemented in our brand.”
– Andrea Mackey, President, Wise Cracks

“Winning the CFA Award of Excellence and participating in the program not only brings a level of credibility to the Vin Bon Franchise, it validates that our Franchise is a great opportunity for New Potential Franchisees. The Benchmarking Program shows us where we excel and what we can work on to make the Vin Bon Franchise better!”
– Karen Mandryk, Director Business Development and Operations, Vin Bon

“Winning the Gold Award of Excellence in the category of Traditional Franchises – Mature/Established is important because it represents direct feedback from the Franchise Partners we serve. Then to be further recognized as the top franchise system in the country through the CFA Award of Excellence in Franchising Grand Prize is simply amazing because we are competing with the best of the best in franchising in Canada.”
– Michael Drever, former CEO and Founder, Expedia CruiseShipCenters (2010 Winner)

“This award is the largest achievement a franchise system can aspire to win. It is truly amazing to be recognized as a leading franchise system in Canada.”
– Darryl Sangster, President and COO, Sangster’s Health Centres (2009 Winner)

“It’s great to win this award because it’s the ultimate prize in Canadian franchising. It’s kind of like taking home the Oscar for Best Motion Picture, but better, since it was our franchise owners who were the ultimate judges.”
– Ken LeBlanc, President and CEO, (2008 Winner)

“We participated in the CFA Awards Program because we wanted feedback on how we could serve our franchise partners better. Winning the Franchisees’ Choice Designation was an unexpected bonus. We are very excited and honoured by this award.”
– Marty Bennett, Founder and President, Lemon Heaven

“We’re an objective-driven company. We took the scores and used them as a benchmark.”
– Michael Drever, President and CEO, Expedia CruiseShipCenters (2007 Winner)

“For us, this is really great information. It gives us the pulse of our system. We’re already looking at how we can do better.”
– Warren Erhart, President, White Spot Restaurants (runner up 2007)

“To be honoured by our franchisees is fantastic. To be a finalist was a great honour, but to win is an even greater one.”
– Michael Mutsaerts, Former Vice President, Business Development, Expedia CruiseShipCenters (2006 Winner)

“It’s a very great day at Merry Maids. Winning this prestigious award validates our efforts, training and systems. The high profile and success of the other finalists only adds value to this award. You always think you’re doing well, but you’re never 100 percent sure. It’s great to get a third party involved to more clearly see and understand how you’re doing.”
– Bob Goodwin, Business Leader, Merry Maids of Canada (2000 Winner)

“The CFA Award of Excellence tells us that we are on the right track at Wendy’s. We strive to provide our franchisees with a quality experience.”
– Brion Grube, Senior Vice President, Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada (1999 Winner)

“This prestigious award is our crowning achievement and it continues to have a positive impact for our company. When we send our promotional material to potential franchisees, we include a list of awards in our company profile. This award is a testament to our credibility, so we get more applications. This, in turn, allows us to select the best applicants from a larger pool of applicants. That makes M&M Meat Shops a stronger company.”

“The CFA Award of Excellence gives franchisees bragging rights. They can tell people that they’re part of an award-winning organization. We strongly encourage other companies to enter the contest. The external evaluation of corporate values, policies and operations is a boon to the entire company.”
– Greg Voisin, Vice President of Franchising, M&M Meat Shops (1995 Winner)

Questions? For more information and to learn how you can take part, contact:


Thank you to the following members who are National Sponsors and support CFA throughout the year:

CFA knock-out Logo

Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)
116-5399 Eglinton Ave W
Toronto, Ontario
M9C 5K6

T: 416-695-2896
F: 416-695-1950
H: Weekdays, 9am-5pm

Upcoming Events

  1. CFA Franchise Law Day 2019

    September 26 @ 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
  2. Franchise Canada Show in Toronto

    October 5 - October 6
  3. Franchise Canada Show in Vancouver

    November 2 - November 3