Barry Arndt began his journey with Boston Pizza in 1978 when he submitted a paper proposing a BP restaurant in Fort McMurray while in the fourth year of his B.A. degree at the University of Alberta. Upon graduation, Barry was hired as the Marketing Director for Boston Pizza International in the Edmonton Corporate offices, owned by Ron Coyle.
At age 28, Barry made the shift from management to franchisee following the sale of the Boston Pizza brand to Jim Treliving and George Melville in 1983. The corporately owned stores were being sold off, and Barry chose to purchase the store in Glenora on 124th Street.
Over the following years, the portfolio slowly expanded with acquisitions of BPs in St. Albert, Red Deer, and Inglewood (now Westmount). In the mid '90s over the short span of two years, three new locations were opened in Hinton, Cold Lake, and Cochrane. Terwillegar BP in Edmonton opened in 2000 and brought the portfolio total to eight: Glenora, Terwillegar, Hinton, Cold Lake, Cochrane, Westmount, and Red Deer North & South.
With the commitment of Barry’s son Dan Arndt (CEO) and Tami Reich (CFO), the ZZA Hospitality Group was created in 2012. This formalized business model brought a clearer vision, passion, and desire to expand the existing Boston Pizza portfolio. Three locations were soon acquired in High Level, Edson, and Canmore, along with three new store openings in Blackfalds, Gas Alley, and Bonnyville, bringing the current total of ZZA Hospitality Group BP franchises to 12.
Today Barry is recognized as one of the most senior and successful franchisees within the Boston Pizza system. He has twice been presented with the prestigious Franchisee of the Year award and is a current member of the Boston Pizza's President's Club. He is also acknowledged as a leader in the restaurant industry with past positions including Director of Restaurants Canada (formally The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association); Director of the Alberta Gaming Association; Chairman of The Labour Shortage Taskforce Committee for CRFA; as well as a respected spokesperson to Government for various initiatives at the Municipal, Provincial, and Federal levels.
Read about Barry's interview on family succession planning with Restaurant Central here.
Barry Arndt with sons Dan and Andy Arndt.
Andy Arndt, Megan Lee & Dan Arndt at the 2016 BP Charity Golf Classic.