Fast-casual bakery café operator Au Bon Pain has announced plans to remodel all 318 of its locations. Au Bon Pain also announced the veteran executive chef Stefano Cordova has joined the company to lead its culinary efforts.
The café remodels include a new sandwich suite and fresh tossed salad station. Au Bon Pain has also redesigned its layouts to speed service, particularly at the sandwich bar, where the restaurant chain is testing an ordering process that utilizes tablet computers. The plan also includes refurbishing its dining rooms and outfitting staff members in new black uniforms with a sunburst orange apron. Accompanying the physical changes are some new menu items, including cupcakes, enhanced beverage offerings and new soup and sandwich value combinations.
As part of this initiative, Au Bon Pain has remodeled the majority of its restaurants in the New York City area, one of its largest markets where the chain operates more than 30 cafés. The chain reports that the newly remodeled cafés have experienced double digit sales increases. In addition, Au Bon Pain plans to added more than 20 locations this year, in markets such as Sacramento, Calif., and Nashville, Tenn.
Chef Cordova has more than 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.
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