Industry News | October 28, 2011

La Madeline Redesigns

On the heels of its recent franchise offering announcement, La Madeleine Country French Café has opened the first in a series of bakery-cafés with a completely new, refined design. Just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, the new bakery-café, located inside NorthPark Center in Dallas, opened its doors on Oct. 27 and will serve as the “model” for future franchised and company-owned mall locations.

The new location replaces the original NorthPark Center café location, which opened in 1989.  At nearly triple the size of the first location, the new café at 640 NorthPark Center boasts 2,000 square feet of improved design, the culmination of three years of market refinement and testing in three remodeled cafés and a warehouse in the Dallas area over the last year.

As the first of three new designs to be rolled out during the next 18 months, the NorthPark Center café features a mall location layout that enhances not only operational efficiencies but also the guest experience by showcasing its artisan style, eliminating cafeteria-style service and providing table delivery of orders and expanded seating in the corridor.  

The new designs, which also includes sidewalk café and airport layouts, reflects the company’s  response to guest feedback, improving the ease, flow, and efficiency of the ordering process and point of sale transaction for the dining room and bakery.

Additional bakery-cafés featuring the new designs are scheduled to open in 2012 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Silver Spring, Maryland; the Tyson Corner Mall in Virginia; and at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

It’s exciting to see our vision and years of planning realized.  We’re evolving the look and feel of the café, the guest experience and the design. We’re thrilled to have this first new design serve our loyal fans and guests in the NorthPark Center community,” says Phil Costner, La Madeleine president and chief operating officer.

Additional elements of the new restaurant that focus on making the dining experience more enjoyable include:

1.      Menu simplification: A vertically displayed digital menu clarifies and simplifies choices to help ensure more accuracy and speed in the ordering process.

2.      Centralized ordering/Enhanced food delivery: Guests order all items in one single location and all food is delivered to guest tables. In addition, there will be less wait time and more efficiency on ordered items.

3.      Modern gourmet kitchen:  An efficient and productive gourmet kitchen allows guest to view the hallmark, made-from-scratch, authentic French cuisine of la Madeleine. The specially designed modular kitchen allows the chefs to solely focus on the cuisine and move with ease between various stations.  

4.      A new look:  Contemporary décor accents and accessories accentuate and brighten the overall more open space. 

5.      Theater-style design:  The new theater-style bakery places la Madeleine’s distinct artisan culinary activities, such as patisserie work, chocolate enrobing, finishing, and handwork, upfront for guests inside and outside the café to enjoy.

The bright, open style of our new design showcases our authentic, signature cuisine in new ways that enhance the dining experience,” says Susan Dederen, senior director of culinary operations for La Madeleine.

The prototype café at NorthPark Cafe was opened to the public beginning Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.