The "Oakes/Cobo," franchise group, led by principals Glenn Oakes, David Cobo and Matt Cobo, will open its first Panera Bread bakery-cafe by May of 2006.
"The Oakes/Cobo franchise group is a family organization that reflects the values and strengths of Panera Bread. Together Glenn Oakes and David and Matt Cobo bring decades of franchise, real estate and business development experience to Panera Bread," says Mike Kupstas, SVP and chief franchise officer of Panera Bread. "This kind of track record is critical to establishing Panera Bread as a leader in Northern California, a region where customers expect great bread and unique menu offerings. We continue to execute our growth strategy with high quality franchisees who bring operating experience and knowledge of the local market to Panera."
Oakes has nearly 25 years of experience owning and operating Burger King Restaurants. While at Burger King, he became known for his ability to transform failing restaurants into 'A' standard quality. His efforts resulted in a dramatic, 200 percent increase in sales in just a few years.
David Cobo is a 32-year veteran of the real estate industry. As owner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Prudential Realty, he created one of the largest real estate brokerage firms in the nation, with operations in California, Nevada, and Texas.
Matt Cobo has spent a majority of his career as an entrepreneur starting and eventually selling three successful technology organizations. Currently, Matt serves as VP and Partner at Clareity Consulting, Inc., an IT real estate consulting firm.
"We are excited to bring Panera Bread's tradition of handcrafted, artisan breads to an area of the country known for its culinary and baking expertise," says Matt Cobo.
Panera Bread owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names. Panera Bread operates 701 bakery-cafes (212 company-owned and 489 franchised). Earlier this month, Panera reported that system-wide bakery-cafe sales increased 7.1% for the four weeks ended December 25, 2004. Comparable bakery-café sales increases include closed locations and are based on sales for bakery-cafes that have been in operation for at least 18 months.