The bakery café concept takes more steps toward crossing over 150 location mark with 13 new locations opened in 2023.
(RestaurantNews.com) Paris Baguette, the bakery café concept with 4,000 units worldwide, currently has nearly 150 units open in the U.S. and is working toward reaching the 1,000 unit mark in the States by 2030. After a great end to 2022, the concept has kicked off 2023 with a bang, signing 40 franchise agreements and opening a restaurant/week in Q1.
“We are very proud of the momentum we have. Last year we opened 24 stores. This year, we are more than half way there in just three months,” said Mark Mele, chief development officer.
“There has been a tremendous amount of franchise growth activity this year. I expect it to continue through Q2.”
The 13 openings were in Texas, New Jersey, California and New York. The Sunset Park location in Brooklyn, New York has seen incredible sales and is already outpacing more than 10 of its predecessor stores, Mele said.
“The sales are impressive, but what’s happening is that guest count continues to grow for this brand,” he explained. “If you read restaurant publications, some brands are reporting an increase in average sales, but when you unpack that a little, you see that they’ve also raised prices. It appears that they’re exploding, but much of that increase has been manufactured.”
“We haven’t raised prices,” he continued. “Our guest count is up, which is really telling. We have a great offering, and people are flocking in.”
Looking to the rest of the year, Mele says the brand is focusing on building out communities where Paris Baguette is already established, but with a lower concentration. There are bakery cafés open in the Detroit suburbs, Houston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Boston, South Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Kansas, but there is certainly market availability to add more.
In markets like these, it is possible that guests have experienced Paris Baguette before, or they decide to take a chance on a new bakery café in town and quickly become a loyal customer.
“For guests who have never been in a café before, that’s exactly what it is,” Mele said. “They come in, experience it for the first time, and they’re impressed by the food, the environment and the building. Within a short period of time, because of the quality offering and the nice ambiance — because of our 3.0 prototype — they feel a warm welcome and become a fan.”
Mele has remained determined about the role the new prototype has played in the brand’s recent growth. Both in the context of franchise expansion and increased guest counts, the new look and feel of the bakery cafés is a key differentiating factor.
“A lot of the conversations I’ve had with existing and prospective franchisees recently center on the prototype,” he said. “The 3.0 prototype dovetails into everything we’ve been talking about — sales, guest counts going up and a great experience inside the café. We spent a lot of time picking out the finishings and design so it doesn’t look cheap. It all looks rich, and that adds something to the experience.”
“We’re already a higher-end, higher-quality bakery, and we put a nice bow around that with the 3.0 prototype. It’s just a really nice place to indulge,” Mele added.
This allows Paris Baguette to not only lend itself to times of celebration, but its delicious, affordable offerings also position it well to become a daily favorite. For prospective franchisees evaluating the opportunity, the manifestation of this prototype is concrete proof of the corporate team’s dedication to carefully choosing differentiating traits and propelling the brand forward even further.
In the coming months, the brand is honing its development efforts in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Scottsdale, Columbus, Raleigh, Charlotte and South Carolina.
The total investment to franchise with Paris Baguette ranges from $652,565 and $1,750,900, including a $50,000 franchise fee. For more information, please visit https://parisbaguette.com/franchising/.
About Paris Baguette
Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first started franchising in 2015 in the U.S. and has since established more than 125 locations in markets across the country, making it one of the premier franchise opportunities in its category. Paris Baguette’s primary mission, executed every day by its expert staff of bakers, cakers and baristas, is to share moments of joy with customers and help customers share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare. For more information, please visit visit https://parisbaguette.com/franchising/.
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