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Grégoire: Home of the Famous Potato Puffs and Eco-Friendly Carry-Out Containers

The restaurant franchise is well-known for a number of remarkable differentiators.

By Katie Porter1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 4:16PM 09/22/22

For Grégoire Jacquet, the main reason that he decided to leave the kitchens of high-end restaurants and start his own is that he wanted to do things his way. Jacquet’s methods are detailed, with every part of the business meticulously crafted and planned out. 

This spirit has made the chef and restaurateur’s concept, Grégoire, such a remarkable establishment over the past 20 years. He knows the details matter, even for aspects of the business that others perceive as insignificant.

“Cult Status” Potato Puffs 

One idea that Jacquet had to execute with the franchise was to have a seasonally rotating menu with locally sourced ingredients. The initiative has been wildly successful, keeping patrons returning to continuously try new creations. 

But one item is a staple: the potato puffs. As Grégoire’s most-ordered item, the potato puffs have become wildly popular, described as “cult status” in a Daily Californian article and featured on San Francisco Magazine’s list of “125 Best Things to Eat.” Visitors coming into town will stop by to order them directly from the airport, Jacquet noted. That’s how good they are.  

The potato puffs actually came about by a fortunate accident: When Jacquet was first starting the business, he wanted to incorporate some finger foods into his “gourmet to-go” menu. He was trying to recreate a deep-fried potato recipe from his native France and messed up the proportions, but “the result was so much better.” They are crispy on the outside and have a gooey mashed potato-like consistency in the middle. 

Initially, the potato puffs were just a seasonal item that he was going to change. But customers loved them so much and told him he must keep them on the menu. 

“I cannot take it off the menu; people are too mesmerized by them,” Jacquet said. “What we do is mix it up with garnishes. Right now, we have Parmesan cheese and organic garlic butter or truffle oil. We have done dry spices, French dressing and other things to complement it.”

Eco-Friendly Takeout Boxes

Another detail Jacquet has carefully considered is the design of Grégoire’s carryout containers. As a to-go style eatery that uses about 12,000 boxes every month, he knew the food containers had to be made to last. They need to maintain the temperature of the food, be ergonomic for travel and ensure that the presentation still holds up by the time the meal reaches its final destination.

When Jacquet couldn’t find any containers he thought were up to the task, he worked to design and patent a corrugated octagon-shaped box that upholds the food quality. And one of the most significant factors is that they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. 

Sustainability is really valued in the Bay Area, the home of Gregoire’s first location. San Francisco was voted the third most environmentally friendly city in the world. Environmentalism is a cause that is dear to Jacquet’s heart. 

“Having the box be recyclable was always very important to me. We won’t use Styrofoam or plastic. We use recycled cardboard that’s eco-friendly and made locally,” he explained. 

The boxes have worked great not only for their fundamental purpose but also for brand awareness. In addition to their unique style, they feature the Grégoire logo and art that make them stand out.

“When people see the boxes, they know where the food came from because no other restaurant has that type of box. I have had the garbage men stop me and tell me they see the Grégoire boxes in recycling bins all over town,” Jacquet said. 

The cost to open a Grégoire franchise ranges from $298,924 to $420,100. For more information on franchising with Grégoire, visit

About Grégoire:

French-trained chef Grégoire Jacquet had a vision of a local restaurant offering quality fine dining-style food with the convenience of a quick carry-out experience. In 2002, Grégoire opened its doors as the first fine-fast-casual restaurant concept that serves gourmet sandwich and salad dishes, its famous potato puffs and scratch-daily fresh-made french fries, all served in a custom-designed take-out box. After two decades of serving the local Berkley, CA community, Grégoire has launched franchising opportunities in the Greater Bay Area.