In conjunction with the acceleration of its national expansion strategy, fast-casual restaurant chain Au Bon Pain announced the launch of a major cafe remodeling program that will transform all of its cafes. Under this initiative, the company has already remodeled a majority of its cafes in the greater New York City area, which is one of the company's largest markets.
Au Bon Pain operates 318 cafe bakeries in urban locations. The cafe remodels include a new sandwich suite and fresh tossed salad station, and layouts have been redesigned to speed service, particularly at the sandwich bar, where a more efficient ordering process utilizing iPads is being tested at several locations. Cafe dining rooms have been refurbished, and team members are now distinguished by new black uniforms with a sunburst orange apron. The changes to the cafe have been complemented by menu enhancements, including new distinctive, delicious bakery items such as cupcakes; enhanced beverage offerings; and new soup and sandwich value combos.
"Au Bon Pain has established a strong record of performance, and we continue to innovate and invest in order to improve the quality and convenience of our guest experience," said Sue Morelli, Chief Executive Officer. "Our recently remodeled New York City cafes have been generating double-digit sales increases, reflecting the enthusiastic response of our guests. In addition, we are this year planning to add more than 20 new cafes systemwide, including in new markets such as Sacramento, California and Nashville, Tennessee. Au Bon Pain has been serving guests for 33 years, but this may be the most exciting time in our history as we expand Au Bon Pain into a national brand."
In the greater New York City area, Au Bon Pain operates more than 30 cafes, including in such marquee Manhattan locations as 1251 Avenue of the Americas, 6 Union Square East and 80 Pine Street.
Separately, Au Bon Pain announced the addition of veteran Executive Chef Stefano Cordova to lead the company's culinary efforts. Chef Cordova has over 30 years of food service experience in fine dining, casual dining and major sporting events such as the Olympics, PGA Tournaments and International Tennis events. His passion for distinctively delicious food is a perfect fit with Au Bon Pain.