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The Bay Changes the Face of Retail and Foodservice in Canada Through an Exciting Partnership with Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

Historic Partnership to Transform The Bay Restaurants in 24 Stores Across Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 2 /CNW/ – The Bay has reached another milestone in its evolution as a world-class department store:  transforming its restaurants and foodservice offerings into destinations that will greatly enhance the overall shopping experience for customers.  The Bay has entered into an exciting new partnership with Compass Group Canada, the country’s leading foodservice and support services company, and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant and event management companies, to manage all restaurants and foodservices at The Bay.

The partnership with Compass Group Canada and Oliver & Bonacini includes the conversion and re-branding of the 24 Bay store restaurants all across Canada.  Compass Group Canada will be involved from coast-to-coast, while Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants will concentrate its talents on flagship locations across Canada including several exciting initiatives at The Bay Queen Street flagship store in Toronto.  Queen Street plans include:  renovating and reinventing the historic Arcadian Court; creating a full-service, state-of-the-art conference facility on the eighth floor; opening several foodservice locations within the store including a sleek new concept restaurant at the corner of Queen and Bay; and converting part of the lower level to a food hall.

Progressive New Vision
The alliance will help make The Bay a fresh new destination point for die-hard foodies while offering even more quality and convenience to casual diners and shoppers. Compass Group Canada will provide The Bay with access to advanced technology, processes, and innovative food concepts that will help increase productivity, engage associates and provide service excellence to customers across Canada.  Oliver & Bonacini will bring creative vision and strategic direction to the creation of outstanding quality food and dining for The Bay customers.

“This is an exhilarating partnership for The Bay as we join forces with two of the best foodservice and restaurant management companies in Canada to forge a progressive new vision for dining and events at Canada’s oldest and largest department store,” says Bonnie Brooks, President and CEO, The Bay.  “We are currently planning the rollout to all our major stores, and we view it as an amazing opportunity to build upon our foundation of delivering new and exciting brands to The Bay – and taking dining and foodservice to an entirely new level for our customers.”

The New Face of Food at The Bay
Many significant changes are in store at The Bay’s flagship Queen Street location in Toronto:

Enhancing a dynamic downtown corner with the addition of a bustling, vibrant market café.  Oliver & Bonacini will create a new restaurant on the main level of the store at the corner of Queen and Bay. This will become a thriving destination for all-day meals and snacks – from breakfast to busy lunch and dinner rush hours.  It will be a unique combination of seated à la carte and al fresco dining and fresh prepared take away.
-  Adding a Lower Level Food Hall.  Compass Group Canada will create a unique culinary experience in part of the lower level that further builds on its reputation for delivering world-class express and eat-in dining experiences.  Whether customers want a healthy and hearty sit down meal, or quality take-away, a wide array of freshly made sandwiches, salads, soups, hot entrées and daily chef’s specials will be available.
-  Creating the most sought after private event venue in the city through the revitalization of the gracious and historic Arcadian Court, as well as the addition of a full-service, state-of-the-art conference facility on the eighth floor overlooking Old City Hall and Nathan Philips Square. Oliver & Bonacini will assume operation of Arcadian Court with the vision to create a mecca for social and business entertaining – from weddings to exclusive business events, to gala fundraisers.

The work at The Bay Queen Street will begin in April 2011 and will be completed in stages.  Phase One will include the construction of the restaurant at Queen and Bay Streets, and Phase Two will see the renovation of the lower level food hall. Phase Three, the renovation of Arcadian Court, begins January 2012, with its re-opening date slated for April 2012.  For all other stores, work will be staggered, beginning in April 2011.

Focus on Employees
The partnership is good news for The Bay employees.  All existing Bay Foodservice employees will receive offers of employment from Compass Group Canada, along with an invigorated work environment and opportunities for employee development.  Employment offers will be made in a phased approach according to the transition schedule over the next year.

“The Bay is continually reaching to new heights in improving our overall operations and customer service,” adds Ms. Brooks.  “Compass Group Canada, in partnership with the creative team at Oliver & Bonacini, offers several important benefits to The Bay including exciting new foodservice environments and concepts for our customers, while also enhancing the workplace environment for our employees.  This partnership provides opportunities to achieve both short and long term cost savings and operational efficiencies.”

“We are honoured that our official foray into the Canadian retail sector is with such a respected and established partner as The Bay,” says Saajid Khan, CEO, Compass Group Canada and ESS North America.  “Compass Group Canada and The Hudson’s Bay Company share similar core values including a commitment to quality, service and employee development.”

“When Michael and I started our company in 1993 with the opening of Jump, never would we have thought that one day we would be entering into a partnership with two such esteemed organizations as Hudson’s Bay Company and Compass Group Canada,” says Peter Oliver, Partner, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants.  “This is a real honour for us. It is also a tribute to our team, and we look forward to delivering on the expectations of O&B in the partnership.”

For further information: or to schedule an interview with Ms. Brooks, Mr. Oliver, Mr. Bonacini, or Mr. Khan, please contact Michael Shipticki or David Weinstein at Strategic Objectives Inc. Tel: (416) 366-7735. Fax: (416) 366-2295. Email: