After an incredible year of growth in 2022, Paris Baguette, the global bakery café franchise with over 4,000 open cafés, only continues to grow. At the end of the second quarter, the franchise has finalized 66 new franchise agreements and opened 20 new stores.
“With 66 signings, 20 openings and almost 50 more cafés in various stages of construction, we’re climbing toward the goal of 64 cafés opened this year, and we see a pathway to get there,” explains Mark Mele, chief development officer at Paris Baguette. “In the second quarter, we opened our first Maryland café and signed a deal for our first cafés in Utah, Minnesota and Connecticut in addition to further expansion agreements in California, Illinois, Virginia, Florida and New Jersey.”
Mele also reported that guest count continues to rise, showing an over 10% increase compared to the first half of 2022, and many of the cafés that have opened year-to-date experienced record numbers for first-day and first-week operations.
As the system continues to excel, many industry leaders are taking note. This year, Paris Baguette secured spots on multiple Entrepreneur rankings, including No. 118 on the Franchise 500, No. 17 on its Top Franchises for Multi-Unit Owners ranking, No. 37 on the Top Global Franchises ranking and No. 1 in the Baked Goods: Bakery Cafes category. Technomic, a food service insights company, recognized Paris Baguette as a fastest-growing brand due to its 36 percent footprint growth in 2022. The franchise also climbed over 20 spots on Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 500, landing at No. 159 compared to last year’s No. 181.
Paris Baguette is also garnering attention beyond industry publications, even making a June appearance on Fox and Friends to discuss its upcoming growth plans.
The Remainder of the Year Looks Strong for Paris Baguette Growth
Looking to the second half of the year, Mele said there are even more exciting developments on the horizon. The brand’s first North Carolina bakery café is set to open in Raleigh this month, the second Nevada location has an opening on the horizon and development on a recent Hawaii signing could lend itself to the island’s first Paris Baguette opening in 2023.
“I am confident about the remainder of the year,” added Mele. “All of our key indicators are looking good, and we continue to stand out to both franchisees and guests in the markets we enter.”
Alongside its rush of franchise development, Paris Baguette has also taken on a prototype redesign — something that Mele says is only driving growth even further. With updated lighting, a welcoming floor plan, rich colors and an elegant, French feel, the 3.0 prototype creates an environment that guests simply want to be in.
“The design is just wonderful. Guests love it, we love it, we think it suits the brand well, but prospective franchisees also really like it,” he said. “Like a guest, the prospective franchisees think that this is a nice café. The design, look and feel are all driving sales, and our new cafés drive awareness all over from a guest perspective... And it happens all the time; guests turn into prospective franchisees if they’re not already in the business. It’s pretty cool.”
By the end of the year, Paris Baguette aims to have executed a total of 160 franchise agreements and 64 new café openings. It is currently focused on growth in Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The franchisor is also continuing to develop northeastern markets where it has established a strong brand presence, including New Jersey and New York.
“We are on track to enter 45 new markets and open a total of 64 units by the end of 2023,” says TJ Rogers, franchise sales manager. “Even throughout the pandemic and its aftershocks, we did not shy away from opening additional units and exploring new markets. With great year-over-year revenue increases and a persistent interest in the brand from franchisees and consumers alike, we expect nothing but a strong continued growth trajectory for the brand.”