Ampex Brands, a Yum! Brands Inc. and 7-Eleven franchisee with more than 400 restaurants and convenience stores, has announced that a deal to acquire Au Bon Pain from ABP Corporation, a subsidiary of Panera Bread, was finalized on June 29.
A longtime franchisee of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and 7-Eleven, Ampex Brands is expanding its footprint nationally and internationally with Au Bon Pain’s 171 locations. The move increases the company’s revenue by approximately 10% annually and grants it franchising rights to an additional 131 locations.
“We see a solid future for both Au Bon Pain and our broader portfolio,” says Ampex chief executive officer Tabbassum Mumtaz. “Our QSR brands performed extraordinarily well throughout the pandemic as guests moved to drive-thru. That performance allowed us to diversify and jump on a great opportunity to reposition a legacy brand. The bakery café category will rebound, and Au Bon Pain is well-positioned to grow.”
Ampex will apply its operating strategy to ramp up Au Bon Pain’s existing cafés starting in the brand’s key markets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Once existing cafés are reopened and executing with positive results, Ampex will kick off expansion efforts, starting with corporate-owned locations.
“The US is reopening, and our markets are coming back to life,” says brand president Ericka Garza. “As we open our cafés, Au Bon Pain’s brand reputation, loyal following, strong real estate and menu position the brand favorably for success. We also see opportunity in its nontraditional locations, currently in transportation hubs, airports, universities and hospitals. Smaller footprints with less dine-in seating are the future of fast-casual dining, and having a successful prototype with long-standing institutional relationships allows for flexibility as we grow.”