Au Bon Pain: Boston Bakery in Bangalore
By dhanushag | Published: December 18 2009
Au Bon Pain, the Boston- based bakery café chain launched its flagship outlet on MG Road to serve an assortment of breads and bagels, and their signature harvest bowls.
Coffee at Au Bon Pain
With over 250 outlets in the USA, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, Au Bon Pain (“the place of good bread”) launched its flagship café in Bangalore on Thursday, 17th December as a result of a joint venture with RPG Enterprise’s retail division. The café was launched by Sumantra Banerjee, President and Chief Executive, Retail division RPG Group, Bernard Platt, Senior Vice President- Franchising, Au Bon Pain and Varin Narula, Director and Promoter, Au Bon Pain, Thailand. Spread over 2000 sq. feet with a total investment of Rs. 60,000 lakhs approximately, the franchisee plans to open 50 cafes across South India with 10 cafes being launched in Bangalore alone in 2011. The cafés manufacturing plant located in Yeshwanthpura was set up with an investment of Rs. 7 crores and Rs. 60 lakhs will be invested for each café. Au Bon Pain is in India through a joint venture between Spencer’s Retail Limited and Varin Narula.
The café will serve an assortment of breakfast, lunch items such as sandwiches, harvest rice bowls, soups, salads, bread and bakery items, confectionaries and hot and cold beverages. Au Bon Pain’s signature food is their Signature Bread Bowl, which is available in a range of Vegetarian and non-Vegetarian flavors, rotated on a weekly basis called the Harvest Rice Bowls.
Speaking to the press on the launch of Au Bon Pain, Narula said, “Au Bon Pain has many outlets in hospitals all across the world, which obviously means that we take out standards pretty seriously”. Answering queries to the Indian customization of the menu, to better suit the Indian pallet, Banerjee said, “we do it for the customer finally, I can say its customized 10-15 percent. The element of customization is flowing stuff mainly in terms of keeping the flavors of the bread intact. It’s more or less an Asian experience of Au Bon Pain, and it’s an exclusive arrangement of Rs. 30- 35 crores. We want to keep the original flavors of the café intact.”
He added, “we would be pretty aggressive on growth, and in the current set up to launch a store in MG road, where the average market price of the per square feet is Rs. 200 to Rs. 350 Sq. ft, and this is an area where the footfalls are quite high”. Speaking about the marketing plan, Banerjee added, “Bakery buzzing is something that we are seriously considering, we will get people to taste the food, and we would be doing it for the next ten days”. The store is expecting a quarter and quarter growth of 5%, and it would take about 2- 3 years to bring in the full expansion plans.
The Au Bon Pain store is located on MG road near Spencer Supermarket.