May 11, 2023 (Toronto, ON) -  Canada’s first automated pizzeria chain, PizzaForno, is officially launching in Calgary today to mark the city’s first-ever robot operated, 24/7 pizzeria.

"Pizzaruption continues across Canada! PizzaForno is excited to offer Calgarians the ultimate in convenience and become the city’s only pizzeria open 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Les Tomlin, Co-founder & President, PizzaForno.

PizzaForno is open to students and the public at the University of Calgary at Collegiate Pl NW.

Search for Ambassadors to Eat Pizza & Make Cash

To coincide with the launch, PizzaForno kicks off its search for PizzaForno Ambassadors. Applicants must have previous pizza-eating experience, topped with a slightly ‘cheesy’ sense of humour and an obsession with social media. Duties include eating pizza, having fun, and creating content. To apply, share why you’re a good candidate and tag @thepizzaforno or DM the team for more information.

Win PizzaForno for a Year 

Starting this month, PizzaForno is also launching a free pizza for a year contest. Calgarians can enter by tagging and following @thepizzaforno, entering the hashtag #pizzafornoYYC, and sharing their favourite pizza topping in the comments. 

How it works

Every PizzaForno automated pizzeria holds 70 12-inch pizzas. Once a customer places an order, a robotic arm takes their selection from the refrigerated section and moves it into a patented convection oven where it is baked. Customers can also opt for a take-and-bake option to customize at home. Once ready, the pizza emerges from a slot at the front of the machine for the customer to grab and enjoy!

PizzaForno’s 12” pizza selection includes: BBQ Chicken, Meat Lovers, Four Cheese, Pepperoni, Veggie, and Hawaiian, starting from $8.99.  

PizzaForno has more than 60 units across North America. The chain anticipates having 25,000 units in operation by 2028, and uses patented state-of-the-art technology to serve consumers the best in food, flavor and convenience.


Vancouver, BC, May 10, 2023 - ¿CóMO? Taperia (201 E 7th Ave) now has an official stamp of approval from the government of Spain. The popular Mount Pleasant tapas bar has just received the prestigious Restaurants from Spain certification, making it only one of two Spanish restaurants in the entire country to receive this coveted recognition, and the first in Western Canada.

The Restaurants from Spain Certification Program is a distinguished accolade that celebrates excellence in Spanish gastronomy. It serves as a mark of distinction, representing a restaurant's commitment to delivering an authentic Spanish dining experience, showcasing the rich heritage, flavours, and traditions of Spanish cuisine.

“This is a huge honour and an incredible milestone for us in our fifth year,” says Shaun Layton, who co-owns ¿CóMO? Taperia with Frankie Harrington. “Our reason for opening ¿CóMO? Taperia back in 2018 was to bring an authentic Spanish tapas bar experience to Vancouver. Frankie, the team, and I have worked hard to make this happen - from our conservas menu, our happy hour experience, to the decor and table details. We also take annual eating trips to Spain. This is a major achievement, and we can’t wait to celebrate!”

Yesterday, on May 9, 2023, Layton and Harrington attended a special awards presentation ceremony at The Wine Academy in Toronto to receive their Restaurants from Spain certification directly from Alfredo Martínez Serrano, His Excellency, the Ambassador of Spain to Canada.

¿CóMO? Taperia is now part of a shortlist of Spanish restaurants from over 40 countries around the world with Restaurants from Spain certification. This is the first time Canadian restaurants have been certified.

For more information about the Restaurants from Spain Certification Program, please visit

¿CóMO? Taperia is currently open daily from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. with Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Limited dinner reservations are available online via Resy. For more information, please visit


Vancouver, BC, May 10, 2023 - Contemporary Japanese hospitality group Aburi Restaurants Canada and Westbank, a leading North American real estate development practice, are collaborating on a brand new dining concept - Aburi Hana Vancouver and a forthcoming project inside the highly-anticipated Alberni by Kengo Kuma, both set to open this winter.

“Alberni by Kengo Kuma is expected to transform the downtown Vancouver landscape with its blend of Japanese traditions alongside contemporary design - making it the perfect location for our first Aburi Hana in Vancouver,” explains Seigo Nakamura, Founder and CEO of Aburi Restaurants Canada. “Aburi Hana Vancouver will feature the same fine-dining magnificence as our one MICHELIN star Aburi Hana in Toronto, while redefining what we call ‘washoku’ or Japanese food culture by harmoniously incorporating Japanese ingredients, seasonings, and cooking methods alongside local elements. Our award-winning operations team will lead all training and ensure meticulous attention to every detail.”

Nakamura has recruited a renowned chef from Japan to helm Aburi Hana Vancouver, who most recently served as sous chef at a prestigious two MICHELIN star establishment and will be announced at a later date.

Aburi Hana Vancouver will be located on the ground floor of Alberni by Kengo Kuma, right at the corner of Alberni Street and Cardero Street. The nearly 3,000 square foot space is currently undergoing its transformation now. Next door, a second yet-to-be-announced project by Aburi Restaurants Canada and Westbank is also coming soon.

“Our collaboration with Aburi Restaurants is part of our original vision inspired by our experience with the culinary art form of Kaiseki, to bring the best of contemporary Japanese cuisine to Alberni by Kengo Kuma,” said Ian Gillespie, Founder and CEO of Westbank. “Aburi Hana Vancouver represents a further evolution of the innovative, contemporary Japanese cuisine for which Aburi Restaurants Canada is known and their second yet to be announced project will be equally inspired - they form yet another layer of Alberni by Kengo Kuma that will make this project into a destination in our city – for architecture, design, art and culinary experience. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Aburi Restaurants Canada to open these exciting new concepts later this year.”

Aburi Restaurants Canada is the team behind award-winning restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto, including MICHELIN Guide-recommended Miku, Miku Toronto, Minami, Minami Toronto, one MICHELIN star Aburi Hana, TORA, WA! CURRY, grocerant Aburi To-Go, Aburi Market, and the soon-to-open WA-BAGEL.


CHINOOK, AB, May 10, 2023 — Famoso Italian Pizzeria + Bar has come to Chinook, AB, with a new location that just opened on May 9th, 2023, at 6262 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary. The newest Famoso is a dual-branded concept with the existing Ricky’s All Day Grill, where guests can enjoy all of their Ricky’s favourites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the addition of a Famoso Pizzeria providing even more delicious dining options for the residents of the Chinook area.

The first Famoso opened in Edmonton in 2007 and is known for their authentic Neapolitan pizza, which has regularly won awards as a guest favourite. Famoso is passionate about authentic Italian pizza, using imported Italian bell ovens, fresh, premium ingredients, and traditional culinary techniques in pizza making that have gone unchanged for generations. At Famoso, watching your authentic Neapolitan pizza being hand-tossed by the pizzaiolos in an open-style kitchen is almost as enjoyable as eating it.

Plus, dining options are available to guests yearning for even more of a true Italian flavour. The menu is inspired by family recipes and includes favourites like Rigatoni Bolognese and Fettucine Alfredo pasta; Italian-style sandwiches, great signature salads; a wide selection of craft beers on tap, and of course, Italian-inspired desserts… traditional house-made Tiramisu, cheesecake, and artisan gelato. With a menu that’s great for dates, friends, and family dining and also delivery, Famoso is the perfect complement to the existing Ricky’s restaurant.

Ricky’s has been famous for breakfasts since 1962, with menu favourites like Egg Bennies and our signature Brekkie-Bowls. Ricky’s also has lunch and dinner options like fresh, never frozen Alberta beef burgers and mouth-watering sandwiches. And Ricky’s is bringing you the best of home cooking with comfort classics like our homestyle Turkey Dinner, Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs, and Traditional Lasagna.

Dhruvin & Dhruti Rawal, long-time franchise owners of Ricky’s All Day Grill, are excited to add Famoso to their Chinook, AB location. “With the addition of Famoso, we’ve got even more dining options available to our patrons yearning for a true Italian flavour,” adding that “the stylish, casual pizzeria embodies the look of old-school Italy with a modern flair and is a perfect place for sharing with family and friends.”

With fast express takeout, online ordering, and delivery services, guests can enjoy their favourite Ricky’s breakfast or an authentic Famoso Neapolitan pizza, all in the comfort of their own homes.


Restaurants Canada wanted to share that effective immediately Kelly Higginson has been appointed President and CEO. Christian Buhagiar, President & CEO of Restaurants Canada, will be leaving the organization effective today.

Kelly has been Chief Operating Officer at Restaurants Canada since August 2022 and was an active member of the Restaurants Canada Board of Directors prior to that.

Kelly’s professional background spans over two decades in restaurant operations, with experience as the Executive Vice President of Operations for well-known hospitality brands across Canada. Higginson had first-hand experience navigating copious challenges as she worked to further the development and retention of employees through the global pandemic.

Kelly not only brings a wealth of knowledge from her years in Canadian foodservice, but also has an incredible passion for developing strong and inclusive teams to maximize impact; something members like you need from us now more than ever. Working in both small and large businesses Kelly brings to the role the industry experience and relationships across our ecosystem that are vital to supporting us as we strive to achieve vibrant and thriving foodservice communities across Canada.

Kelly has the full support of the Restaurants Canada Board and over the coming weeks, we look forward to the direction she’ll take the organization and the achievements to come.


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