- Au Bon Ache unveiled a brand new design for its bakery-cafes, with plans to roll it out companywide in 2023, in keeping with a press launch emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- The design features a self-serve bakery, to-go areas and a brand new ordering station to make it simpler for shoppers to get out and in, in addition to indoor and outside seating.
- Since Ampex Manufacturers purchased Au Bon Ache in July 2021, the mother or father firm has tried to reposition the cafe chain for development, increasing in present markets, with plans to speed up nontraditional places as nicely.
Au Bon Ache’s new retailer design was created to help the model’s growth, which was bolstered this summer season by a10-unit growth settlement within the Northeast market with an present franchisee. This was the fourth franchise settlement since Ampex’s acquisition. The corporate additionally mentioned it can open 5 corporate-owned shops and 6 franchise places by the tip of this yr.
For Au Bon Ache, the design comes after a number of years of retrenchment, but additionally because it experiences what the corporate calls “spectacular outcomes” since shifting underneath Ampex.
The brand new retailer design was created to satisfy the altering calls for of shoppers as off-premise and comfort choices stay elevated greater than two years for the reason that onset of the pandemic. In accordance with a 2021 examine from Deloitte, 61% of shoppers order takeout or supply not less than as soon as per week.
Au Bon Ache isn’t the one idea introducing a brand new retailer mannequin. A number of quick-service chains have added double drive-thru or drive-thru-only eating places, for example. Au Bon Ache, nevertheless, might have an even bigger must steadiness the comfort calls for with the “café” expertise and is due to this fact prioritizing a community-like house alongside its self-serve bakery and different comfort options.
“Our new cafes give on-the-go visitors what they crave and deserve — handcrafted, scrumptious meals, quick — whereas providing a beautiful house for visitors that need to keep for a bit,” President Ericka Garza mentioned in a press release.
Ideas like Panera and Starbucks have additionally been striving to strike this steadiness. Final yr, Panera unveiled a double drive-thru retailer design, which additionally contains a eating room with ovens in full view of dine-in visitors. The chain can be now testing synthetic intelligence voice expertise on the drive-thru with the hopes of rushing up service, and has launched a digital-only café targeted solely on off-premise eating. Starbucks can be accelerating drive-thru places whereas sustaining its status as a “third place” between work and residential.
Notably, the shifts in restaurant design at Panera, an analogous idea to Au Bon Ache, come because the chain now experiences over 80% of its gross sales coming from off-premise channels.
Au Bon Ache has additionally launched a brand new grab-and-go kiosk design for its commuter and college places, which may additionally assist the model plant a seed in new markets for a decrease value. In accordance with the corporate’s web site, there are a number of such places throughout the system and the primary redesigned grab-and-go kiosk opened final yr in Albany, New York.