Restaurants Canada announces new Chair of the Board, Cindy Simpson

Published March 31, 2021

Board also welcomes 10 new Directors from across Canada

Restaurants Canada, the not-for-profit foodservice association representing over 30,000 members across Canada today announced the election of Cindy Simpson, Executive Vice-President, Imago Restaurants Inc., as the new Chair of the Board of Directors at their Annual General Meeting.

“It is an honour to be given the privilege to serve Restaurants Canada members as Chair, especially in a time like this,” Simpson said at the AGM. “I look forward to working with the Board, the executive team and members of Restaurants Canada to continue down our industry’s path from survival to revival.”

Currently Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Imago Restaurants Inc., Simpson was hired 35 years ago as General Manager of their then flag-ship restaurant, the Duncan Street Grill in Toronto. At that time the company had a mix of restaurants and pubs. Since then, they have become an “all-pub” company operating premium British pubs in downtown Toronto. In 2014, Cindy was invited to be a member of the Restaurants Canada Board of Directors and has continued to passionately speak on behalf of the independent restaurant community.

As Chair, Simpson will be responsible for overseeing Restaurants Canada’s Board and will work closely with Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay to not only focus on helping restaurant operators pull through the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis, but ensure they are set up for success in the post-pandemic economic environment. 

Simpson succeeds Guy Laframboise, President of Les Restaurants Subway Québec Ltée, who was elected as Chair in March 2020, right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been an honour to serve the restaurant industry in one of the most challenging years on record,” said outgoing Chair, Guy Laframboise. “For over 77 years and more recently, this past year navigating through this pandemic, no other association has been more effective, or has had a greater impact on advocating exclusively for the foodservice industry than Restaurants Canada.”

“During his time as Chair, we have seen the foodservice industry highlighted as a top priority for federal and provincial governments,” said Restaurants Canada President and CEO, Todd Barclay. “I want to thank Guy for his commitment to our members and the industry, and welcome Cindy at this crucial time in our industry’s recovery efforts.”

In addition to this change, Restaurants Canada is pleased to welcome ten new Board Members. Joining the Board for the new term are:

  • Lacey Sellinger, Odla Restaurant and Market, Saskatoon, SK
  • Ibrahim (Obby) Khan, Shawarma Khan Inc.; Green Carrot Juice Company;, Winnipeg, MB
  • Mark Findlay, Lone Star Texas Grill, Oakville, ON
  • Bruce Miller, The WORKS Craft Burgers & Beer; South Street Burger; Big Smoke Burger; TOSTO Quickfire Pizza, Oakville, ON
  • Court Desautels, Neighbourhood Group of Companies, Guelph, ON
  • Mohamad Fakih, Paramount Fine Foods, Toronto, ON
  • Sachit Mehra, East India Company Restaurants, Ottawa, ON
  • Elizabeth Rowe, Italian by Night Trattoria, Saint John, NB
  • Gene Cormier, Hub City Social; Restaurant Clos Inc.; Halo Donuts Inc.;, Moncton, NB
  • Hakan Uluer, The Bertossi Group, Halifax, NS

“With these fabulous new additions to our Board, we can continue to broaden our reach and engage more industry members throughout the country,” said Barclay.

About Restaurants Canada
Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s foodservice sector was a $93 billion industry, directly employing 1.2 million people, providing Canada’s number one source of first jobs and serving 22 million customers across the country every day. The industry has since lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in sales due to the impacts of COVID-19.


For more information, contact:
Roberto Sarjoo
Director, Marketing and Communications
Restaurants Canada
C: 416-389-7941

Restaurants Canada Digital

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