Ampex Brands, which operates more than 400 Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, and 7-Eleven locations in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it bought the bakery-cafe chain Au Bon Pain.
“Our [quick-service restaurant] brands performed extraordinarily well throughout the pandemic as guests moved to the drive-thru,” Ampex CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz said in a statement.
“That performance allowed us to diversify and jump on a great opportunity to reposition a legacy brand. The bakery café category will rebound, and Au Bon Pain is well-positioned to grow.”
The acquisition was confined and completed on Tuesday, and even though the financial terms of the agreement had not been disclosed to the media, it is quite well known that the sum will not be a mere amount if the Au Bon Pain had been bought.
The Au Bon Pain had their café at around 171 locations, and Ampex is getting control of all of them. They are facing an increase of 10% of the revenue almost instantly. However, they are planning on increasing and improving the brand.
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In order to make sure that they are taking all the right steps for expanding the chain and then bringing it to the right direction, they have hired a number of professionals for this purpose.
Ericka Garza, the new brand president, most recently served as a senior franchise growth leader for Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut. Under JAB’s ownership, many Au Bon Pain locations were converted into Panera restaurants, shrinking its footprint from roughly 300 locations to 171.
So we are all looking forward to it. Well, maybe not all of us but those who are well accustomed to the café chain. In the meanwhile, Ampex will focus on “ramping up” operations at existing Au Bon Pain outlets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
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In a statement, Au Bon Pain’s new brand president, Ericka Garza, said, “The US is reopening, and our markets are coming back to life.” There is potential in the nontraditional locations where Au Bon Pain is currently present, such as transportation hubs, airports, universities, and hospitals, but the brand’s reputation, loyal following, strong real estate, and menu position it favourably for success as we open our cafés.
Fast casual restaurants of the future will have “smaller footprints with fewer dine-in seating,” according to Garza, and the company’s ability to scale up will be aided by the existence of a proven model supported by established institutional partnerships.