January 29, 2013 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – The world’s second largest restaurant company in the café-bakery sector has set the stage for its premier U.S. brands to significantly expand their franchise footprint during 2013 and beyond.
Groupe Le Duff SA and its North American’s subsidiary, Le Duff America, Inc., are creating dynamic growth opportunities for Bruegger’s Bagels and la Madeleine. The brands have initiated newly formed franchise strategies designed to meet the demand of today’s discerning restaurant operators/investors seeking to team with concepts that have earned undeniable consumer appeal.
“There’s little debating that momentum is on our side. We’ve created a rock solid growth strategy to accompany the remarkable performance of our bakeries,” said Paul Carolan, chief development officer for Le Duff America, Inc. and a proven restaurant industry leader who recently joined the company to head franchise and licensing. “Our ability to raise the bar in everything we do across both brands -- food, operations and design -- while differentiating ourselves in the crowded fast casual sector, puts us in a great position.”
Coming off the 2012 launch of its franchising program, la Madeleine has pinpointed 2013 as a milestone timeframe.
The French-inspired bakery café brand, which has built a loyal following and fan base throughout its 30-year history in its core Texas, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets, will open its first franchise location in West Texas later this year. The brand’s initial franchise agreement is a multi-unit deal with a well-established operator for locations in Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland.
The strategic course it has charted to expand into high-profile U.S. markets includes awarding development deals to multi-unit, multi-brand restaurant ownership groups eager to enhance their portfolios with a concept ripe for growth.
“We differentiate ourselves in the bakery café segment with a warm, come and stay environment (4,500 square feet and the brand’s signature fireplace), and a flavor profile that breaks though the monotony of our category,” said Darren Bothe, senior director of franchise development for la Madeleine. “The warm, authentic French bakery café feel creates an environment that is unlike any other in the segment.”
These distinctions come with attractive operational benefits, including consistent customer traffic throughout the day (14 percent breakfast, 43 percent lunch, 43 percent snack and dinner). la Madeleine’s average unit sales volume is $2.1 million (17 percent EBITDA), with a $1.1 million build out, figures that can compete with the segment’s largest brands.
Company projections call for more than a 15 percent increase in new restaurants during the next year. Seven company-owned restaurants will open this year in markets such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, Louisiana and Washington D.C. Plus, one franchise location and three restaurants in airports with partner HMSHost will open. Additional momentum will be created with three to five additional development projects that are anticipated to be added to la Madeleine’s pipeline before the end of 2013.
Attractive on several levels to established restaurant operators, especially those in the sandwich category hungry to pivot into a more sophisticated concept in the fastest growing restaurant segment (fast-casual), Bruegger’s Bagels finished 2012 on another high note, ranking as one of QSR magazine’s “2012 10 Best Franchise Deals”.
For several years running Bruegger’s Bagels has increased comparable-store sales and transaction count. The result…a current average unit volume (AUV) at franchise restaurants of more than $717,000 and EBITDA of 17 percent. With build out costs of $450,000 to $500,000, the brand provides operators with a strong sales-to-investment ratio.
The extraordinary performance of Bruegger’s Bagels bakeries is at the heart of the brand’s 2013 growth plans. A six percent increase in new bakeries is expected – 19 in total (nine franchise, 10 corporate) are planned to open in the months ahead. Franchise bakeries will launch in Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix and Virginia Beach. The company’s franchise growth efforts are squarely focused on top tier markets where operations are ongoing in states such as Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee, among others.
Additionally, Bruegger’s Bagels is creating unique opportunities for restaurant investors in Nashville, Tenn., Tallahassee, Fla. and Huntsville, Ala., to grow the brand through a combination of new bakeries and the acquisition of existing units in the market. Taken in sum, Bruegger’s Bagels projects opening more than 100 new bakeries during the next five years.
“We’ve built our reputation on being the neighborhood bagel bakery – a community gathering place where our guests can get an authentic New York-style, kettle boiled bagel. We continue to innovate around that central theme,” said Kelly Tope, director of franchise development for Bruegger’s Bagels. “Freshness is fundamental to what we do, and our customers come back because of it.”
A relentless commitment to menu innovation drives the loyalty the brand commands, which includes its signature made-in-Vermont cream cheese, handcrafted ingredients, custom-made breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and salads.
Le Duff America, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff, the world’s second largest bakery café restaurant company. Le Duff America franchises and licenses Bruegger’s Bagels, la Madeleine and Brioche Dorée, which today include nearly 400 U.S. bakeries. Authenticity, innovation and fresh menu items unify the brands, creating synergies for their growth with proven restaurant ownership groups and global foodservice brands.
To learn more about available franchise opportunities with la Madeleine, visit www.lamadeleine.com, or contact Darren Both at (972) 996-2166 or DBothe@lamadeleine.com. For information about franchise opportunities with Bruegger’s Bagels, visit www.brueggers.com or contact Kelly Tope at (651) 705-6446 or email@example.com.
For more information about le Duff America, Inc., visit www.groupeleduff.com, call (469) 206-5173 or e-mail Paul Carolan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Points Public Relations