From Bartender to International Franchisee

Tyler Birkland’s success story through franchising is the perfect example of the American Dream, even if it really began in Canada. A native Canadian, Birkland began his career at Boston’s Pizza, the Canadian version of Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, while studying in the College of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan. He applied for a bartending job during the summer at the Boston’s Pizza in his hometown of Prince Albert, where he met some of his best friends. Those friends contributed to him having a little too much fun that summer, resulting in returning to university without enough money saved up. To solve this problem, he began working at the Boston’s Pizza franchise in Saskatoon, where he was studying.

After realizing the growth opportunities presented by Boston’s, he became less interested in pursuing a degree in commerce, instead taking a full-time position as a junior manager in Saskatoon. Hard work led him to be selected to run a new franchise location in Saskatoon as general manager. At the time, this was Boston’s Pizza’s fourth franchise location to open in Saskatoon. Just three years later, Tyler moved back to Prince Albert to open a Boston’s Pizza, this time as a franchisee.

Five years after that, Tyler Birkland is on track to become an international franchisee. Along with his partners Greg Most and Jim Werschler, Birkland opened another Boston’s franchise location in Fargo, N.D. Birkland cites the support he’s received from the franchisor as well as Boston Pizza’s quality product as the keys to his success. “Running a restaurant can often pull you in many different directions,” he said, “but the franchise model really allows you to focus on your customers and the community.”

Birkland’s focus has extended beyond the food and beverages he serves. An avid supporter of the community, Birkland’s Boston Pizza franchise in Prince Albert has hosted several fundraising events for local hockey teams, schools, and other organizations. They were even able to contribute to a local athletic field expansion, which will be home to the World Slow Pitch Softball Championship.

Boston’s Pizza plans to add 10 new locations this year, and 20 new locations in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. The franchise brand is giving more employees the opportunity to move up the ladder and become their own boss through franchising.

Ben Watson is an Intern in the Government Relations and Public Policy Department. Find out more about Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bard at