OTTAWA -- At a time when so many businesses are struggling for survival, Mad Radish, co-founded by Ottawa’s David Segal, is adding new flair and flavours, and soon a Barrhaven location.

David Segal is the David behind DAVIDsTEA, a company he grew from a small tea store into a huge international success, before it was sold.

In 2017, he co-founded the healthy fast-food chain, Mad Radish, with Stephanie Howarth.

Three of the six Mad Radish restaurants are in Ottawa.

Howarth says, “I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that owning a restaurant during a global health pandemic has been (to say the least!) challenging. But in this challenge, we had the opportunity to take a second look at our business. We knew we would have to reimagine Mad Radish in response to everything that’s changed about the world, and about Canadians.”

The reimagining means growing the Mad Radish brand, and chain, by putting a family of gourmet restaurants under one roof.

And burritos and pizza may be portable and pandemic-proof fare.

Segal and Howarth are introducing Luisa’s Burritos & Bowls and Revival Pizza to the Mad Radish brand. 

Luisa's Burritos and Bowls

“The objective, to have Mad Radish evolve into a family of gourmet fast food brands with the launch of Luisa’s Bowls and Burritos and, as of this week, Revival Pizza,” announced the team.

“Combining the best elements of a typical ‘ghost kitchen’ - a professional kitchen used to prepare delivery-only meals - with the functionality of a customer-facing restaurant, all three brands will be available at Mad Radish restaurants and through our Mad Radish app (they’ll also all have stand-alone storefronts on UberEats).”

The idea is that food is “made to order and built to travel”. 

Segal says: “The idea is that food is “made to order and built to travel”. Three people can order very different options from the one location.”

Not only is the menu expanding, the locations are, as well. Early in the new year there will be a new store in Barrhaven. And Segal would like to see more stores in his hometown over time. “We’re looking to open in Kanata as well and eventually Orleans. And we’re on the lookout for great stores, hopefully the urban centre.”

Segal was a young entrepreneur when he started DAVIDsTEA. He has experienced the ups and downs of business but says nothing compares to this global pandemic.

Segal sees this test as an opportunity. 

“I love the Winston Churchill quote: ‘Never waste a good crisis.’ And I think that’s where we find ourselves. This is an opportunity to innovate and come up with a better business model and hopefully, what happens at the end of COVID-19, if you’ve done enough innovating you end up with entirely new lines of business and some of the old lines of business come back as well.”

“It’s very difficult. These industries are getting shaken up quickly and profoundly. The companies that are able to embrace that change and roll with it and evolve very quickly will make it.”

The promise of Mad Radish wouldn’t change: bringing a gourmet fast-food experience to time-strapped Canadians. 

But the team says the execution of that promise would have to. 

Options from Luisa’s Burritos & Bowls are available at all Mad Radish locations in Toronto and Ottawa. 

Revival Pizza is available in-store at Albert & Metcalfe and for delivery across Ottawa - with a launch planned for Toronto in early November at the Yonge & Eglinton store. 

Revival Pizza

The Mad Radish locations in Ottawa in the Glebe and on Albert remain open for take-out. Slater at Kent is currently closed.

For more information on the three brands, please visit: / @eatmadradish / @luisasburritos /