Au Bon Pain, a subsidiary of Ampex Brands, plans to remodel its bakery-cafes to accommodate consumers’ busy lifestyles and growing need for convenience. The redesigned stores will include a new ordering station, a self-serve bakery and to-go areas to add efficiencies, the company says.
The new layout has been designed for customers “who want to ‘get in and out’ with great-tasting fuel for their day,” according to Au Bon Pain. The company says it plans to roll out the new design to its stores companywide in 2023 as part of its “Back to Bright” campaign.
“Enhancing the look of our locations is essential to our ‘Back to Bright’ campaign,” says Ericka Garza, president of Au Bon Pain. “We set out to build on our promise to serve delicious food in a friendly, fast and clean environment and create an exceptional guest experience. The Cafe of the Future visually represents our brand’s purpose.”
The new design continues momentum started in July 2021, when Ampex Brands acquired Au Bon Pain and Tabbassum Mumtaz, chief executive officer of Ampex, pledged “to lead the bakery-cafe segment into the future.” As part of the transaction, Ampex acquired Au Bon Pain’s 171 locations as well as franchising rights to an additional 131 locations.
The company says this summer an existing Au Bon Pain franchisee signed a 10-unit development agreement in the northeast, which was the fourth franchise agreement inked since Ampex assumed ownership last year. By the end of 2022, the company says it will open five corporate-owned bakery-cafes and six franchise locations, including five sites and five remodels in Thailand.
“Our new cafes give on-the-go guests what they crave and deserve — handcrafted, delicious food, fast — while offering a lovely space for guests that want to stay for a bit,” Garza says. “Fun details, like a sweet bonjour at the entrance, remind guests of our legacy as a French-style bakery, to which we remain true.”The company described the newly designed bakery-cafes as intuitive to navigate, “with product placement and prominent wayfinding signage throughout the ordering process, while the hand painted floor and wall signage call out the bakery’s French roots.” The new design will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.