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Au Bon Pain to roll out new store design

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Au Bon Pain Pain partnered with San Francisco-based Rubber & Road on its new store design.
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Au Bon Pain is updating its look under new ownership.

The bakery-café chain will roll out a new design companywide in 2023 that puts a spotlight on the shift to convenience and off-premise dining while staying true to Au Bon Pain’s legacy as a French bakery serving freshly made, high-quality and simple menu offerings.

Founded in Boston in 1978, the company was acquired in 2021 by Dallas-based Ampex Brands,  a franchisee of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and 7-Eleven stores, whose CEO, Tabbassum Mumtaz, promised “to lead the bakery-cafe segment into the future.”

The company has been expanding its footprint under Ampex. An existing franchisee recently signed a 10-unit development agreement in the Northeast, the fourth franchise agreement under Ampex ownership.

Au Bon Pain partnered with Rubber & Road, a San Francisco-based brand strategy and retail design firm, to create an experience that combines a sense of authenticity and playfulness without sacrificing speed or service. The firm redesigned the bakery-cafe’s interiors and exteriors with finishes that complement the brand’s fresh and healthy offerings. The hand-painted floor and wall signage call out the bakery’s French heritage.

A new ordering station, a self-serve bakery and to-go areas add efficiencies for Au Bon Pain’s core customers, which include commuters, students and health care professionals who want to “get in and out.” Product placement and prominent wayfinding signage throughout the ordering process make the space easy to navigate.

“We set out to build on our promise to serve delicious food in a friendly, fast and clean environment and create an exceptional guest experience, said Au Bon Pain president Ericka Garza. “The Cafe of the Future visually represents our brand’s purpose.”

Comfortable seating indoors and out offers a sense of community and rest.

“Our new cafes give on-the-go guests what they crave and deserve — handcrafted, delicious food, fast — while offering a lovely space for guests that want to stay for a bit,” added Garza.

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