June 10, 2014 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – La Madeleine Country French Café, the bakery café brand affectionately cherished as a retreat from the rigors of the day, has announced a plan to give its loyal and growing fan base more to adore.
Today, la Madeleine detailed plans to double the size of its U.S. footprint in select markets – a strategic growth initiative that will blend an equal split of both corporate and franchise café expansion.
This announcement comes amid an already aggressive la Madeleine growth phase, which includes recent corporate openings in the Austin and DFW markets. Plus, the brand's franchise and licensing initiative, which has switched into high gear, has resulted in three additional openings thus far in 2014 – Lubbock, Texas (la Madeleine's first franchise location), El Paso, Texas and the Atlanta International Airport.
Additionally, the brand has several openings on the horizon. This summer, a trio of new corporate-owned cafés is slated for both the Texas and Washington, D.C. markets. And, la Madeleine has a collection of additional franchise locations in its development pipeline, including new bakery cafés planned for Colorado.
"Momentum is on our side," said John Cahill, chief operating officer for la Madeleine. "There is a buzz surrounding the brand. We are clicking with consumers and restaurant franchise groups alike. The brand is in a class unto itself and it is positioned perfectly for robust expansion. The talented leadership team we have in place is guiding the company into an exciting timeframe."
Reflecting the growth, la Madeleine has made a series of moves and a key executive-level hire to reinforce the brand's talented collection of leaders. As part of the formation of the core executive team, la Madeleine has hired a new vice president of marketing and rewarded four individuals from within, demonstrating the company's commitment to recognizing internal talent and rewarding those deserving.
"La Madeleine prides itself on assembling great leadership teams – from our restaurants to our home office. With the right people in place we will continue to achieve extraordinary levels of operational excellence and growth," said Jim Vinz, president and co-CEO of Le Duff America, the parent company of la Madeleine Country French Café. "It is clear that the sky is the limit for la Madeleine, and this latest round of hires and promotions will continue to allow us to raise the bar in the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry."
In more detail, the la Madeleine leadership team hire and promotions include:
A key addition to the executive team, Kastalanych joins the company after earning a highly regarded reputation in a similar role at the internationally growing restaurant chain Pollo Campero. Prior to that, she served in marketing leadership roles, both domestically and internationally for more than a decade, at Pizza Hut – YUM Restaurants. Kastalanych has solidified herself as a dynamic marketing executive experienced in an array of brand management responsibilities, including marketing communications, market research, creative, menu development and concept development. Her position at la Madeleine includes oversight of marketing on all levels, as well leading a host of brand growth initiatives.
"This is an opportunity to cherish," said Kastalanych. "La Madeleine is a brand unlike any other, with a team of leaders in place that has set the brand on a fantastic course. I share in their vision for the concept and look forward to building upon the strategic direction la Madeleine is heading."
Promoted after more than five years as senior director of financial planning for la Madeleine, Kaufman has a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge. He began working in financial roles at restaurant companies nearly 15 years ago and has routinely advanced his position and responsibilities every step of the way.
A true la Madeleine loyalist, Pate has served in multiple operations roles with the brand for more than 17 years. Pate began his career at la Madeleine as a café manager and steadily climbed the ranks throughout the years, most recently holding the post of senior director of operations.
Another example of a la Madeleine team member who has proven to consistently earn new roles and responsibilities, Todd Peacock joined la Madeleine as café manager more than 17 years ago. Now, regional vice president of operations, he is overseeing restaurant performance for the Dallas-Fort Worth and Louisiana markets.
Fichtner returns to la Madeleine in a new role as the senior director of franchise operations, a position of growing importance given the brand's expanding franchise portfolio. A 35-plus year restaurant industry veteran, Fichtner most recently served as director of franchise operations for Brioche Dorée in North America, a quick serve café concept also within the Le Duff America family.
Dallas-based la Madeleine Country French Café was established in 1983 by self-described "French country boy" Patrick Esquerré to fulfill his dream of bringing classic French country fare to America. Today, la Madeleine continues to relish in its uniquely authentic approach to fast casual dining as part of Le Duff America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff – the world's second largest café bakery restaurant company.
From its signature fireplace to its crave-worthy food, la Madeleine offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where guests are invited to come and stay in a casual, French home atmosphere. La Madeleine's French-inspired menu items served throughout the day during breakfast, lunch and dinner features handcrafted entrées, sandwiches, salades and soupes, as well as freshly-baked breads, artisan pâtisseries and several additional distinctive specialties. La Madeleine's innovation in its kitchens, restaurant design and approach to guest services differentiates the brand, creating widespread consumer and restaurant investor appeal.
A treasured part of many communities for more than 30 years, la Madeleine will have more than 70 cafés across Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. by the end of 2014. For more information on menu items, café locations and hours of operation, visit www.laMadeleine.com. To learn more about available franchise opportunities please call David Gonzalez at (214) 989-6077, email him at DGonzalez@leduffamerica.com, or visit www.lamadeleine.com.
SOURCE la Madeleine
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