La Madeleine Signs Five-Unit Development Deal

Renowned Arkansas Development Group to Open French-Inspired Bakery Cafés Throughout Central and Northwest Regions of the State

December 15, 2014 // Franchising.com // DALLAS - La Madeleine, the authentic country French fast casual dining experience complete with signature recipes that are handcrafted and made to order in a warm and relaxing environment, announced today a multi-unit agreement that continues to build momentum for its strategic franchising initiative.

This agreement comes as another indication of la Madeleine's strength and desire to elevate its footprint in select U.S. markets with seasoned restaurant owner/operator groups. The Dallas-based restaurant company, which has a collection of more than 70 bakery cafés, has completed the deal with the Chi Development Company, an established multi-unit, multi-brand franchise development group based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"The deal represents a significant step in la Madeleine's franchise development strategy," said David Gonzalez, vice president of franchise development for la Madeleine. "La Madeleine has the ability to fully immerse itself into the fabric of many of America's most attractive communities, and we are thrilled to introduce our unique and beloved brand to new markets throughout this attractive region."

Jacob Chi, a seasoned restaurateur and hotelier, is the principal developer with Chi Development. Since the launch of la Madeleine's franchising initiative two years ago, Chi has been watching the brand closely, and recently began the process of developing a plan to expand the concept into key Arkansas and Southwest Missouri markets.

"It's clear that la Madeleine guests absolutely love the food and atmosphere...and this affinity is the motivation behind our development deal. From the get-go, we've been impressed with the loyalty the bakery café's command from their guests," said Chi, whose family owns several Starwood hotels in the region. "La Madeleine attracts a wide variety of consumers from all backgrounds and demographics. It has extraordinary appeal, and there is not another fast casual eatery that comes close to offering the same experience in Arkansas."

Part of la Madeleine's unique appeal is its consistent guest traffic throughout the day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Currently, the concept offers a tremendous ground floor opportunity to become part of a brand adored for its food and ambiance in the restaurant industry's top-performing fast-casual sector.

"I have seen what it takes for a bakery café concept to be a game changer and rise above the competition. La Madeleine is now part of a rarefied group in fast casual franchising," Gonzalez said. "This agreement provides a fantastic springboard for us to continue expanding from our core into key markets, such as Arkansas."

La Madeleine welcomes guests to experience delectable country French cuisine and warm, inviting ambiance every day. Writing recipes using classic French techniques, la Madeleine's menu includes 76 items made from scratch daily. For more information, visit www.lamadeleine.com.

About la Madeleine

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. Inspired by his mother's cooking, Patrick insisted on maintaining the integrity of French cuisine by using fresh ingredients and recipes that have been passed from one generation to the next.

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 fare 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 authenticity, innovation and fresh menu items differentiates the brand, creating widespread restaurant investor appeal.

A treasured part of many communities for more than 30 years, there are currently more than 70 cafés across Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. For more information on menu items, café locations and hours of operation, visit www.laMadeleine.com.

For more information about franchising, visit www.lamadeleine.com, or contact David Gonzalez at (214) 458-7022, or email him at dgonzalez@leduffamerica.com

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