Ampex Brands, a Yum! Brands Inc. and 7-Eleven franchisee announced Wednesday it has acquired bakery-cafe chain Au Bon Pain. The deal was closed on June 29.
Au Bon Pain, which has 171 locations, will become part of the Ampex Brands family and raise the company’s overall revenue by about 10% per year. Though financial details regarding the deal have yet to be disclosed, the agreement bestows Ampex franchising the rights to an additional 131 locations.
“We see a solid future for both Au Bon Pain and our broader portfolio,” said Ampex CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz. “Our QSR brands performed extraordinarily well throughout the pandemic as guests moved to drive-thru. 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.”
As Ampex looks to restructure Au Bon Pain’s business and expand its reach, it has hired multiple knowledgeable restaurant executives to pioneer the shift. Ericka Garza will act as the new brand president and recently acted as senior franchise growth leader for Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut.
“The US is reopening, and our markets are coming back to life,” said Garza. “As we open our cafés, Au Bon Pain’s brand reputation, loyal following, strong real estate and menu position the brand favorably for success. We also see opportunity in its nontraditional locations, currently in transportation hubs, airports, universities and hospitals. Smaller footprints with less dine-in seating are the future of fast-casual dining, and having a successful prototype with long-standing institutional relationships allows for flexibility as we grow.”
The new leadership will also include Brian Bacica as chief operating officer. Bacica has over 30 years of experience in hospitality, which include 18 years in food and beverage leadership positions for Disneyland, Universal Studio Hollywood and Universal Orlando Parks.