Suvarna Garge (Editor)


Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Number of employees
7,000 employees


Parent organization
Cara Operations

Harvey's httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumbd

Fast food (including hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, onion rings, poutines)

Rick Mauran, George B. Sukornyk

Swiss Chalet, Burger King, McDonald's


Harvey s pizza burger review

Harvey's is a fast food restaurant chain that operates in Canada, with locations in every province. It serves hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, onion rings, and other traditional fast food fare. The chain is owned by Cara Operations. Harvey's is the second-largest Canadian-established restaurant chain in the country behind Tim Hortons, and is the fourth-largest burger chain in Canada.


Harvey s braised beef poutine review drive thru experience

1959 and 1960s: inception and growth

Harvey's was co-founded by George B. Sukornyk and Rick Mauran in early 1959 as equal shareholders. Mauren originally thought to call the chain Humphrey's, riffing off of the down-home friendliness connoted by the Henry's Hamburgers chain that was already a successful in the United States. As he was preparing to open the first restaurant in the summer of 1959, he saw an item in the Toronto Telegram indicating that the John Harvey Motors car dealership in the city was closing, and the sign — which simply designated it Harvey's — was available. Mauran obtained the sign and posted it outside his flagship store.

The first Harvey's location was opened on April 1, 1959, at the southeast corner of Yonge Street and Observatory Lane in Richmond Hill, Ontario, on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) parcel of land purchased from the owner of a bankrupt Dairy Queen. The location was initially expected to be seasonal, based on the precedent of the local Dairy Queen location, but it was successful enough to remain open year-round. The first franchised location was on company-owned property on Avenue Road. Subsequently, land was purchased for additional locations to be developed and franchised on The Queensway West in Toronto, Barton Street in Hamilton, and Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto, just before Warden. The 238 Bloor Street West location, opposite Varsity Arena, was opened as a company-owned and operated location. It was sold by Cara in early 2006 to One Bedford, a condo project. Beginning in 1963, Harvey's purchased 39 parcels of land in Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo and Winnipeg with the exception of one leased property. Sukornyk insisted, where possible, that all property be company-owned in order to provide equity and stability to the company's balance sheet.

Harvey's has been operating in Quebec since 1964, a fact printed in English and French on their take-out bags. Otherwise, little English is visible in their Quebec locations.

In 1959, Harvey's introduced three original concepts in the drive-in take-out business. The first concept was for a customer to order, purchase and obtain a receipt, which was placed on the topping counter. The cash was immediately placed in the cash register, thereby controlling and monitoring cash, and keeping theft to a minimum. The second concept was to have the customer move along the counter, following his/her receipt, and then, at his/her request, have an employee "customize" his/her hamburger with a variety of toppings. The third concept — developed for its full-line Swiss Chalet restaurants in Montreal — was to purchase potatoes from Prince Edward Island, have the franchisee wash and cut the fresh potatoes into oversized chips with skin on, and then deep-fry and serve the chips on-site. This approach was a distinction from thin pre-frozen French Fries of unknown origin that were being sold at the time. Ten years later, under different management, the number of toppings was substantially increased, and pre-frozen string French Fries were introduced, replacing the freshly cut PEI potato.

1970s: Foodcorp and Cara acquisition

Harvey's Food Limited merged with Industrial Growth Limited in the early 1970s to form Foodcorp, led by president Bernie Syron. The company grew to operate 80 restaurants, and was acquired by Cara Operations in 1979.

2010-present: Great Canadian and Health Check

After going through four different flagship burgers in twenty years, Harvey's introduced the Great Canadian as its flagship burger in 2010. The sandwich remains available.

In February 2012 the first Harvey's location was demolished to make way for condominiums. In the summer of 2012, Harvey's added Dole Strawberry Kiwi as a fountain juice. Later in November 2012, Harvey's introduced a Health Check approved section for its menu. This includes the veggie burger, the grilled chicken sandwich, the Lil' Original and the grilled chicken salad. Only approved toppings, condiments and dressings may be used on the sandwiches for them to meet the Health Check requirements. The Lil' Original has a price of $1.99, comparable to those found on competitors' value-priced burgers.

Main dishes

Harvey's is known for its grilled burgers, allowing customers the choice of 11 different toppings, including lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and a wide selection of condiments ranging from ketchup, mustard, relish, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise to Frank's Red Hot sauce. Cooked burgers are placed in view of the customer, behind a glass counter, while an employee garnishes the burger according to the customer's wishes before wrapping it in paper and serving it to them. In this sense, Harvey's is closer to the model used by submarine sandwich chains like Subway than to other burger chains which use a set list of toppings for each burger, omitting toppings only at the customer's specific request.

Harvey's claims that in 1998, they were the first to introduce "Custom Combos", allowing customers to modify their combo with different items from those usually included. For example, one could get a salad instead of fries or a milk carton instead of a soft drink.

Aside from beef burgers, Harvey's also offers hot dogs, veggie burgers, and grilled chicken burgers, all which can be topped as desired by the customer. Chicken strips and salads (with or without chicken) are also available.

In the third fiscal quarter of 2006, Harvey's discontinued items such as specialty burgers, deli sandwiches, Caesar salad, and value-priced burgers. The hamburger menu at the time was simplified to six basic varieties: original hamburger, original cheeseburger, original bacon cheeseburger, and double-patty versions of each. The current version of the menu lists cheese and bacon as premium toppings rather than as part of a burger, meaning that only the Original Burger and Double Original are listed as hamburgers. Three alternative sandwiches were kept on Harvey's revised menu: one with grilled chicken, one with crispy chicken and a veggie burger.

Flagship burger

Harvey's has changed flagship burgers several times before introducing the current Angus in 2014:

  • Superburger (1989-1996, 13 lb)
  • Ultra Burger (1996-2001, 14 lb, "steak-like", $1.88 introductory price)
  • Big Harv (2001-2007)
  • Angus Burger (2007-2010)
  • Great Canadian (2010-2013, over 13 lb)
  • Great Canadian Angus (2013–2014, over 13 lb. Introduced Spring 2013)
  • Angus (2014–present. 14 lb. A Double Angus 12 lb burger is also available. Introduced Spring 2014.)
  • Harvey's introduced their Angus burger series as a competitive measure to McDonald's, which first introduced its own Angus burgers in Canada in 2008.

    In late 2014 Harvey's changed several of the toppings on its standard and premium burgers, no longer offering the same styles of chopped onions or lettuce that they had previously served, and no longer serves them from their traditional metal bowls.


    At a small number of locations, such as the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, breakfast is also served during the traditional morning period. The breakfast menu includes real fried eggs with toast and optional meats (bacon or sausage), as well as breakfast sandwiches made using English muffins. Harvey's is one of the few fast food restaurants offering fried eggs with yolks, as opposed to other chains such as McDonald's or Burger King who only offer fully cooked eggs. While Burger King did offer more traditional breakfast options such as fried eggs in the past, they were phased out by the year 2010. Harvey's advertises its product as a homestyle breakfast with custom-made eggs.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, breakfast was available at most (but not all) Harvey's restaurants; like drive-through service, breakfast locations were identified with specific pole signage placed directly under the main Harvey's logo. The "breakfast" sign was replaced with the generic "it's a beautiful thing" slogan at locations which no longer open during breakfast hours.

    Side dishes

    One of Harvey's more popular promotional menu items are "Frings" ("Fridelles" in French), a specially designed french fry box that's half-full of french fries and half-full of onion rings. Frings are now a permanent item on the menu for a small premium compared to standalone fries or rings.


    A long-time purveyor of Coca-Cola products, as are most hamburger chains in Canada, Harvey's switched to Pepsi products in summer 2005. In the summer of 2006, Harvey's eliminated Mountain Dew and Diet 7 Up products from its locations as part of its simplified menu. Harvey's has since begun to offer Mountain Dew and 7-Up at certain locations. Apple and orange juice from Dole can be purchased in a bottle, although there is a premium price for these products. Due to restaurants' ongoing trend in selling non-carbonated fountain juices, Harvey's added Dole Strawberry Kiwi to its fountain drinks lineup in the summer of 2012. There are a few exceptions to the Pepsi partnership, however. For example, the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport's catering company has a partnership with Coca-Cola, so these beverages replace Pepsi at the airport's Harvey's.

    Hot beverages such as coffee and tea are available at Harvey's restaurants.

    The milkshake lineup was discontinued in Q3 2006 in an attempt to simplify the menu. An improved thick chocolate milkshake was reintroduced in April 2007. It is available at most locations, but some restaurants do not carry it, including all that are located in Quebec.


    Where a Harvey's is co-located with a Swiss Chalet, the Harvey's offers a small selection of chicken dishes from Swiss. This makes it possible to order items from both restaurants and eat them at Harvey's.

    E. coli outbreak

    In October 2008, over 200 people were infected with the O157:H7 strain of E. coli due to contaminated onions at the North Bay, Ontario location. There was a class action lawsuit against Harvey's; the end result was a cheque for $1,000 to $7,250 per victim.

    Harvey's vs. Hardee's

    There is no affiliation between Harvey's and the American hamburger chain Hardee's. The latter's parent company CKE Restaurants has been prevented from opening stores in Canada under the Hardee's name due to a trademark dispute. CKE has instead launched the Carl's Jr. brand in Canada.

    Loyalty program

    Harvey's began a partnership with Scene in February 2015.


    Harvey's advertising takes the form of promotional coupons, social media presence on Facebook and television commercials.

    Free Burger Week

    On the last Sunday of May each year in 2007, 2008 and 2009, Harvey's held a Free Original Hamburger Day at all locations across Ontario and Quebec. The purpose of this event was to "celebrate Canada's best tasting burger" and to attract new customers who might not otherwise go into Harvey's.

    These events were loss leader sales where Harvey's hoped to sell side items and create customer loyalty. The event was extended across Canada in 2008, and later in 2009 to coincide with the chain's 50th anniversary. All these events were limited to one free burger per person. From 2010 onwards, the event was changed to a "Free Burger Week" in June of every year, but now works as a "buy one, get one free" instead of a completely free burger. However, there is no longer a limit of one per person, and any burger (including chicken and veggie) can be obtained with the new deal.

    Retail presence

    Harvey's has many types of retail presence. The most common type of its restaurants are standalone, but they also partner with airports and some Home Depot stores.

    Financial difficulties led to the closure of many Harvey's throughout Canada in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s. This started with the closure of the only two Newfoundland and Labrador locations. It continued with closures in Ottawa, Gatineau, Halifax and Montreal, as well as nearly all locations in Saskatchewan. Towards the late 2000s and early 2010s, however, Harvey's opened more stores than it closed, including a return to Newfoundland with a new location in St. John's.

    The partnership between Harvey's and Home Depot began in the mid-1990s, with several stores featuring an indoor Harvey's located near the store's entrance and exit doors. These locations operate with a slightly reduced menu. Until recently, the chain's only locations in British Columbia and Manitoba were inside Home Depot stores or local airports. Vancouver's first free-standing location opened in the fall of 2012 at 946 Granville Street, in Downtown Vancouver. That location in August 2015 was the only free-standing Harvey's location in British Columbia. The Harvey's at the Vancouver Airport has closed. However all Harvey's within Home Depot locations in British Columbia are closed and have been replaced by Subway. The Home Depot partnership for Saskatchewan ended in 2006, leading to the closure of all restaurants in that province except for the University of Saskatchewan location.

    In the early 1990s, some Harvey's locations featured items from the American chain Church's Chicken. After Cara acquired Harvey's, the Church's partnership was ceased and replaced with Swiss Chalet. In some cases, locations are located adjacent to Swiss Chalet locations. There are also a few Home Depot Harvey's stores that are co-located with Second Cup, a coffee chain that used to be owned by Cara.


    Harvey's Wikipedia