La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe has successfully completed the first phase of its refranchising program announced in March. Sugar Land, Texas-based HZ LM Casual Foods, led by Amin Dhanani, one of the general partners of The Dhanani Group, has purchased 26 la Madeleine bakeries in Houston, Austin and Louisiana and secured development rights for 57 additional locations.

The deal comes just months after la Madeleine announced plans for rapid growth by refranchising entire existing markets of successful restaurants to strong, multi-unit operators of other brands.

Olivier Poirot, CEO of Le Duff America, la Madeleine’s parent company, celebrated the new partnership by echoing the goals he put into motion earlier this year. “Our shared focus for la Madeleine is growth. The Groupe Le Duff model for success is through franchising. This closing represents the first step in our growth initiative, and with partners like Amin, la Madeleine will double in size within the next five years,” he said.

Amin Dhanani and The Dhanani Group have been a multi-unit franchisee for more than 25 years and operate more than 800 restaurants throughout the United States.

“I was attracted to la Madeleine first and foremost because my family and I have been la Madeleine guests for many years,” says Dhanani. “Today, it is easy to see that la Madeleine is strong and cultivates a loyal following with industry-leading AUVs. There’s no doubt la Madeleine is ripe for expansion, and we look forward to growing with them.”

“When we launched our refranchising initiative, Amin was the type of partner we had in mind, with his development expertise, proven operations ability and passion for la Madeleine. We look forward to building a long and productive relationship,” said la Madeleine President John Cahill. “He is ready to hit the ground running, and with the exceptional, guest-focused la Madeleine teams in Houston, Austin and Louisiana behind him, we know he will be a success.”

La Madeleine will continue to operate corporate bakery-cafes in Dallas, so it can demonstrate operational excellence to support franchisees.

La Madeleine’s parent company, Le Duff America Inc., is the Dallas-based subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff, the world leader in the bakery-cafe segment with nearly 2,000 locations across five continents and 90 countries. Le Duff also operates French-themed brands Mimi’s Cafe and Brioche Doree North America.

Franchising, News, La Madeleine