With 25+ years of experience growing organizations and their reputations, Buhagiar looks forward to leading Canadian foodservice on its journey from survival to revival.
TORONTO — Restaurants Canada, the not-for-profit foodservice association representing over 30,000 restaurant operators, foodservice chains and suppliers across Canada, has announced that Christian Buhagiar will assume the role of President and CEO. The news also accompanied the announcement that the current Interim President and CEO, Roy Little, who joined the organization in 2019 and took over its leadership in February 2022 will be retiring.
“I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to lead the Restaurants Canada team, and serve its 30,000 members nationwide,” said Buhagiar, whose career has involved more than 25 years working across for-profit, non-profit, academic and government sectors. “I recognize this is a critical period for the foodservice industry. Not only were restaurants and their suppliers hit first and hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, they’re now facing severe labour shortages, skyrocketing inflation, and so many other hurdles on their road to recovery. I’m looking forward to helping Restaurants Canada pave the way for a sustainable, long-term revival for this vital component of our country’s culture and economy.”
Buhagiar joins the Restaurants Canada team after serving as the President and CEO of Supply Chain Canada, a non-profit membership association serving as the voice of Canada’s supply chain profession. During his 5+ years at the helm of Supply Chain Canada, Buhagiar renamed, rebranded, and grew the association into Canada’s foremost community of supply chain professionals, and a powerhouse advocacy organization. Prior to joining Supply Chain Canada, Buhagiar served as Vice President, Education at the Institute of Corporate Directors, Canada’s membership association for directors and boards.
“We’re very pleased that Christian’s next role will be leading Restaurants Canada. I believe our team and membership base will greatly benefit from his expertise in the government relations and not-for-profit association fields,” said Mike Yasinski, Chair of the Board, Restaurants Canada. “Christian’s past experience in growing organizations and their reputations, launching initiatives, and building relationships are exactly what Restaurants Canada needs to engage the industry and move beyond the pandemic.”
Through to September, Little will work alongside Buhagiar as the incoming President and CEO transitions into his new role, until his official departure on September 30, 2022.
“Roy is a servant leader who stepped into the role of Interim President and CEO at a time when the industry needed him the most. His strong connection to his team and board, and focus on the well-being of his people has been admirable,” added Yasinski. “I want to thank Roy for his commitment to our members, the industry as a whole and our employees, and welcome Christian as we look towards building a stronger future.”
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 $95 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. www.restaurantscanada.org