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How Innovations at Paris Baguette Have Set It Apart in the Bakery Segment

Chief Development Officer Mark Mele discusses how the 4,000-plus-unit bakery cafe franchise is filling a void in the industry.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
SPONSORED 3:15PM 11/16/22

Paris Baguette, the bakery café franchise with over 4,000 units globally, has undoubtedly positioned itself as an innovator in the industry. From its freshly baked pastries to its modern new store designs, the brand is filling a gap in the bakery segment that's been long overdue to be filled.

“Brands that have been in the bakery space before have switched gears to become something more than a bakery — they become more salad and sandwich and soup focused,” said Mark Mele, chief development officer for Paris Baguette. “At Paris Baguette, we’ve been baking for 75 years and have done a good job of filling that void.” 

Paris Baguette’s thoughtful innovations have led to a very successful 2022 and set it up for a booming start to 2023. 

Innovations in 2022

In 2022, Paris Baguette introduced its 3.0 store prototype. This sleek, new store design includes a refreshed look and modern technology but has the feel of an old-school bakery.

Each location showcases the store’s master bakers while providing a welcoming environment to guests. As soon as someone walks in the doors, they can see — and smell — the bakers at work. The new aesthetic also includes French architectural features and carefully chosen furniture. The 3.0 prototype began rolling out in new stores that opened in Q3 and Q4, and the brand has already seen positive results, Mele noted. 

Visual merchandising has also been a big part of the new design. The brand emphasized its famous cakes, making them more visible in the store. 

“You're watching the cakers make these beautiful cakes,” said Mele. “We've intentionally set your focus up to look at the island that's in the center with all the pastries, and when you move towards the front, your eyes focus right on the cake case.” 

Indicators Highlighting Growing Demand 

For the past two consecutive years, Paris Baguette has signed 11 franchise agreements every month on average, according to Mele. This high demand is because the company brings something to the table that can’t be found at other brands.  

“We've seen our franchisees come to us and this brand because no one is offering a bakery experience like we are. It's not out there — you don't see it when you look at some of the would-be competitors,” said Mele. “They don't have the same baked goods. They bring in a lot of items that are already baked —  it's not fresh.”

By contrast, Paris Baguette is baking in its cafes fresh on a daily basis. Consumers appreciate this type of effort, bringing them back time and time again.

What’s Upcoming in 2023

Right now, Paris Baguette is testing something it has not done before in the United States: Expanding the loaf bread line-up by offering more choices. Every day, at select locations, cafes are baking an additional 9 special loaves of fresh bread. 

The franchise may also introduce new beverages to its hot and cold line next year. Recently, it developed a partnership with the renowned Italian coffee brand Lavazza. 

“Our research and development team is constantly looking at what products we have now and what works in a particular market – and not just at certain times of the year,” Mele said. “We want to be innovative in giving consumers what they want, but not changing our core items.” 

The R&D team is always trying new items at the test kitchens at the corporate HQ, where regular training sessions for franchisees are held. 

Paris Baguette has also been experimenting with food lockers that keep items hot and cold. These are in place at one location and will be tested in other locations in the coming months. 

How Innovation is Attracting Franchisees

One way that Paris Baguette uses innovation to attract franchisees is through value engineering. 

“We didn't want to build a beautiful prototype and raise the cost up to build the 3.0 cafe,” said Mele. “So we had to value engineer everything we were doing as well. That allowed us to keep the cost down but have a beautiful cafe.” 

On the development side, the brand is very aware of where they are placing new franchisees in site selection. The corporate real estate team takes the time to guide new franchisees on where the best locations are to open their cafe. 

The total investment to franchise with Paris Baguette ranges from $635,765 and $1,693,600, including a $50,000 franchise fee. For more information, please visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.