Au Bon Pain, a bakery-cafe brand known for its gourmet convenience, revealed a bold new store design, paving the way for the brand’s bright future.

Planned to roll out companywide in 2023, the new design continues Au Bon Pain’s forward momentum started in July 2021, when noted franchisee Ampex Brands acquired the brand and its CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz pledged “to lead the bakery-cafe segment into the future.”

The new design builds on customers’ new reality, where convenience and off-premise reign, without straying from Au Bon Pain’s roots as a French bakery serving freshly made, high-quality and simple menu offerings.

“Enhancing the look of our locations is essential to our ‘Back to Bright’ campaign,” said Au Bon Pain President Ericka Garza. “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.”

Au Bon Pain partnered with Rubber & Road, a San Francisco-based brand strategy and retail design firm, to create an experience that combines authenticity and playfulness without sacrificing speed or service. Rubber & Road redesigned the bakery-cafe’s interiors and exteriors with finishes that complement the brand’s healthful, freshly made menu items.

A new ordering station, a self-serve bakery and to-go areas add efficiencies for Au Bon Pain’s core guests — commuters, students and health care professionals who want to “get in and out” with great-tasting fuel for their day. Navigating the cafe will be intuitive, with product placement and prominent wayfinding signage throughout the ordering process, while the handpainted floor and wall signage call out the bakery’s French roots. Comfortable seating indoors and out offers a sense of community and rest.

“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,” says Garza. “Fun details, like a sweet bonjour at the entrance, remind guests of our legacy as a French-style bakery, to which we remain true. We appreciate our partners at Rubber & Road for creating this modern, genuine expression of Au Bon Pain.”

Known for its commuter and university locations, Au Bon Pain also rolled out a modernized, grab-and-go kiosk design to elevate those experiences. The first kiosk opened last year in Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York.

Au Bon Pain recognized impressive results in its first year under new ownership. This summer, an existing franchisee signed a 10-unit development agreement in the northeast, the fourth franchise agreement under Ampex ownership. By year’s end, it will open five corporate-owned bakery-cafes and six franchise locations, including five sites and five remodels in Thailand.

Au Bon Pain (translated “from good bread”) offers gourmet convenience to travelers, students, commuters and friends. It serves quality products made from simple ingredients, including transportation hubs, airports, urban office buildings, universities and hospitals. See the full menu of fresh and flavorful sandwiches, bread, pastries, salads, soups and coffee or order online at Founded in Boston in 1978, Dallas-based Ampex Brands purchased the bakery-cafe in 2021, catapulting the franchisee into a franchisor role and expanding its footprint internationally.

Fast Casual, News, Au Bon Pain