Paris Baguette is fast approaching that day. The brand has ambitious growth targets, to put it lightly. Top of the chart: 1,000 domestic stores by 2030. By its current model and franchising path, comprised of single-unit operators, Moran admits it’s a complicated picture. The individual structure simply doesn’t equate. Doing 90 mom-and-pop deals a year isn’t feasible, Moran says.
“So I think as we start to grow we’re going to have to look at a mixed bag,” he says. “We find an amazing local guy somewhere we say yes. Or we find a group that demonstrates some kind of expertise.”
To be able to hit that 1,000 target, Paris Baguette would need to open 90 or so a year from 2020–2030. Moran wants to ramp up to get there. The company is planning for a minimum of 15 company-run openings in 2019 and 25 franchises. Or 40 total.
Moran would like to stretch that to 50 if possible. Then from 50 to 90, and sustained growth over the course of a decade. And that’s assuming Paris Baguette doesn’t wield its sizable infrastructure to blow the door off those projections, say, five years from now.
The concept first entered the U.S. market in 2006 and has focused primarily on the corporate growth in New York and Los Angeles. There are also units in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Virginia, and outside Atlanta. Average-unit volumes are currently pushing $2.2 million with systemwide sales of $110,000,000. Total startup costs range between $710,000–$1,207,000 with a franchisee fee of $50,000, a royalty of 5 percent, and renewal fee of $25,000. There’s also a 1 percent marketing fee.
On October 2, Paris Baguette added Darren Tipton as vice president of operations. He’s responsible for “for driving positive change amid corporate mergers and within highly competitive markets, transforming operations procedures to achieve company growth goals, and leading teams to improved performance through establishing solid targets for expansion,” the company said.
Like Moran, Tipton arrives from Le Pain Quotidien USA, where he worked in the same VP of operations post. The executive changes reflect a rapidly moving brand.
For starters, one of the interesting aspects of Paris Baguette is that it’s really an Asian-infused French bakery concept more than it’s a straight-off-the-street Paris café.
And that’s not the easiest story to tell. It’s molded Paris Baguette’s growth to date, with stores opening in predominantly Asian urban neighborhoods. There’s about to be a fourth in Flushing, Queens, for example. There are synergistic locations next to Asian American supermarket chain H Mart.
The reason for this is obvious, of course. Moran says Starbucks is dwarfed by Paris Baguette in South Korea, and the overwhelming brand recognition has no trouble traversing the globe.