The pizza that a Montreal food critic declared the best in the city a year ago is about to become much more widely available. And not just to Montrealers. No 900, the pizzeria concept from Dominic Bujold, the founder of Sushi Shop, and pizzaiolo Alexandre Brunet (late of Stromboli and Mangiafoco), will soon expand with three new franchises, slated for the Marriott hotel on Peel, the Faubourg Boisbriand, and Quebec City.
Bujold sold his Sushi Shop chain to Stanley Ma's juggernaut MTY Food Group in 2006 for millions. History suggests that the businessman has similar plans for No 900: establish strong brand awareness, rapidly expand via a franchise model, and take over a significant share of Quebec's fast casual restaurant market. Prospective franchisees can expect to pony up a minimum of $200,000 for a No 900 restaurant. Bujold and Brunet have plans beyond la belle province too. Indeed, the duo announced at the start of the partnership, when No 900 was merely a food truck with a lone brick-and-mortar outpost: “We're not just aiming for Quebec. This is an exceptional concept that we could take worldwide.”
No 900's three new franchises will join the original on Bernard, inside Théâtre Outremont, and a recent South Shore franchise that opened last fall. Bujold and Brunet got a boost a year ago when Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman gave the Outremont No 900 three stars on four. “I have eaten at No 900 several times and got pizza to go often,” Chesterman wrote. “I liked the pizza before, but as of this last visit, No 900 is my favourite pizza in the city right now.”