Paris Baguette, the 4,000-plus-unit global bakery café concept nearing 150 cafes in the U.S. alone, has welcomed Eric Lavinder to the C-Suite as its new Chief Development Officer. Prior to joining Paris Baguette, Lavinder was the Chief Development Officer for Duck Donuts and before that, WOWorks.

“I am thrilled to have joined the Paris Baguette Team. This is an incredible brand with amazing growth and a strong future trajectory. The expertly crafted baked goods and made to order beverages are made with only the finest and freshest ingredients. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the Paris Baguette brand at such a key inflection point in the North American growth.”

“We are excited to welcome Eric to the team,” said Tipton. “He has a rich history and track record in both restaurants and franchising, and his passion for developing people and brands will be crucial as Paris Baguette continues to grow at an exponential rate.”

Throughout his career, Lavinder has worked in various disciplines from finance to operations. He ultimately found his true passion on the development front, specifically working within franchise business models. Lavinder noted that being involved in the entire development process from start to finish was especially fulfilling. “Helping franchisees through the process and seeing their success as local owners is truly rewarding.”

As he supports Paris Baguette in reaching its goal of 1,000 U.S. units by 2030, Lavinder acknowledges that there is a challenging goal ahead of the system, but he says that the business is set up well for the feat. Year to date, the franchisor has signed 98 deals and plans to open a total of 64 cafés before the year ends. In addition to impressive franchise growth, the brand is demonstrating its favorability among guests with continued increases in guest count and average unit volume.

“More importantly, the challenge is part of what makes the task so exciting,” explained Lavinder, “and there is a network of passionate franchisees and corporate leaders standing behind the Paris Baguette name and its growth goals. Having passion, being excited and loving what you do, as well as building a great team and culture are all very important to me. When you love what you do and can bring the passion, the excitement, the energy and the right people in the right places, and you can all get them functioning and working together, you’re unstoppable.”

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News, Paris Baguette