US-based fast casual restaurant chain MOD Pizza has signed a development agreement with VI Pizza to introduce its brand into the Canadian market.

Led by Jim Hayden, Jeff Jefford and Ken Whitaker, VI Pizza will open five MOD Pizza locations in Vancouver Island over the next several years.

Hudsons Canada’s Pub co-founder Mike Yasinski is also an investor in the deal.

MOD Pizza co-founder and CEO Scott Svenson said: “We are confident that MOD will translate well in the Canadian marketplace, and that the V.I. Pizza team will be great partners as we further expand our footprint. With Vancouver Island’s close proximity to our home base of Seattle, this feels like the perfect first step into Canada.

“For us, the most important factor in selecting our franchisees is finding those who not only share our business values, but are committed to cultivating the MOD culture in their stores. The VI Pizza team are aligned with our belief that taking care of people, and using the platform of MOD to make a positive impact, leads to a successful business.

“As we continue to grow MOD’s footprint, we hope to identify additional like-minded partners who are interested in helping us expand across Canada.”

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V.I Pizza Inc. COO Jim Hayden said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to introduce MOD Pizza Canada, and to share its compelling combination of superior food quality, value, speed and most importantly, its platform for doing good.

“MOD embodies everything we believe a brand should stand for – a people-first culture, a community driven approach, and a best-in-class business model. We can’t wait to debut the first store in our home market of Vancouver Island.”

As part of the agreement, VI Pizza will open the first MOD Pizza location at Belmont Market Shopping Centre in Langford, British Columbia, later this year.

Last month, MOD Pizza selected DoorDash for the nationwide delivery of its products from across 375 participating MOD locations.