Franchise Fun: Zane Caplansky, Caplansky’s Deli

Zane Caplansky dishes on his appetizing and authentic Caplansky’s Deli franchise system

Caricature illustration of Zane Caplansky on top of Caplansky's Deli food truck

For Zane Caplansky, Owner of Caplansky’s Deli, franchising is all about authenticity. He says the goal of his franchise concept, which got its start at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2014, is “serving the best-quality, most authentic deli experience possible.”

More and more customers are getting a taste of this unique deli experience, with two Caplansky’s Deli franchise locations and one corporate location in Ontario, along with the Caplansky’s Deli Food Truck, which is always on the go. As the franchise continues to grow, Caplansky is focusing on attracting the best people to his system – the best franchise partners, staff, managers, and suppliers – showcased by the recent hire of the “most perfect” Chief Operating Officer.

Here, we share a glimpse into the man behind the deli franchise, as Caplansky provides his insight into what makes a successful franchise system tick. Read on to learn Caplansky’s thoughts on everything from the importance of family support and following your dreams, to Harry Potter and the ambitious goal of global deli domination.


The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is

I filmed a TV show in the United States, hosted by the biggest star on The Food Network. If I win the show, I will get my own TV series in Canada and the U.S.

In its best form, work is…

When you discover the thing you love to do, it doesn’t feel like work. However, in its best form, work is your conversation with the world.

A good franchisee…

Is worth their weight in gold.

A good franchisor…

Is one who understands what makes a good franchisee.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is…

Just like Harry Potter let the wand choose the wizard, my advice is to do your homework, but let your spirit be your guide. After careful consideration, if it still feels right, go for it.  If not, run the other way.

My top advice for new franchisors is…

Remember that your franchisee is an investor. Treat them as such.

The most important thing in life is…

To follow your dreams and make a profit.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…

Follow my dreams and make a profit.

The hardest thing for me to do is…

Say goodbye.

My favourite drink is…

Water.

If I could change one thing…

I would change the rule that I could only change one thing.

If I could meet anyone…

I’d meet myself as a kid, and help prepare myself for one hell of a ride.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is…

My father, Wilf.

Canadian franchising is…

A wonderful place to be.

My franchise system began because…

Roger Mooking invited me to open at YYZ (Toronto Pearson International Airport). Thanks, Roger.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…

My fiancée, Willa Bradshaw.

The key to success is…

To understand that success is purely self-defined.

I’d like my friends to describe me as…

A great friend.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is…

Being a father.

My personal motto is…

Non illegitimi carborundum.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is…

Global deli domination.