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How Paris Baguette Supports Franchisees’ Success With a Robust Supply Chain Operation

Chief Supply Chain Officer Eric Galkin shares how Paris Baguette North America has streamlined their supply chain to better support and create opportunity for franchisees.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 03/21/24

Paris Baguette, the global bakery café franchise with 4,000 locations around the world and over 160 in the U.S. alone, has built a name for itself with high-quality, French-inspired pastries, breads and cakes. These items are at the heart of the brand’s identity and play a key role in guests’ affinity for the brand, which is why it’s critical for local owners to be able to secure the ingredients, supplies and equipment they need. To this end, Paris Baguette has maintained a sturdy supply chain led by a team of experts to support franchisees’ daily success.

“Supply chain management is a process that involves overseeing the movement of all materials, finished goods and processes that come together to get products to customers — from production to the last mile,” explained Eric Galkin, chief supply chain officer. “To do that, we concentrate on these things: planning, sourcing, manufacturing and inventory management, delivery and logistics, and returning.”

While the supply chain team fulfills the obvious need of getting the necessary food to each bakery café, the impact of its efforts also provide support for the franchisees’ long-term growth, as well as their service and fulfillment of the local communities.

“Paris Baguette cannot function without the high quality of our food and ingredients. Having a strong supply chain to ensure consistency, availability and competitive pricing is crucial to our franchisees’ success,” said Eric Lavinder, chief development officer. “Two of our core values — Nourish Community and Spread Joy — are driven by our goods and guest experience, and a stable, reliable supply chain system ensures we can live up to them.”

The Value of a Strong Supply Chain

Because Paris Baguette has been built on the foundation of signature goods baked fresh daily, a well-structured supply chain is even more important, and management by the leadership team takes a substantial amount of work and planning off the plates of the franchisees. 

“Our supply chain team reinforces the reason to join a franchise: You don’t have to worry about every detail of operating a business,” explained Lavinder. “When we, as the franchisor, are focused on our franchisees’ success, they can focus more energy on their guests and employees. Managing a food supply chain can be complicated, and when our franchisees know that those details are taken care of, they have more bandwidth to operate a successful business.”

Proprietary goods play a major role in helping franchisees stand out, but they come with unique supply chain considerations, too.

If Paris Baguette franchisees were to run out of a given item, it’s unlikely that they’d be able to simply pick up some extras at a local grocery store. This is why the leadership team has put so much effort into honing the supply chain process. By relying on expert projections and ordering suggestions, franchisees can be confident that they will not run out of what they need.

According to Galkin, the proprietary nature of the goods works to protect each franchisee’s bottom line as well: “It’s our unique, proprietary items that have made us what we are today,” he explained. “About 75% of all of the products a franchisee brings into their café are proprietary. Because we’re our own manufacturers, we can look for solutions internally and insulate franchisees a little bit from those weekly commodity ups and downs.”

The Strength of the Paris Baguette Supply Chain Model

The supply chain for Paris Baguette North America, which supports the U.S. and Canada, is part of a larger global system. Paris Baguette imports some of its proprietary ingredients from international warehouses, and they partner with major suppliers like Cisco and Imperial Dade for other basic needs.

While the system is relatively intricate and requires ongoing planning and monitoring, the team has nearly perfected its practices. Last year, Paris Baguette fulfilled 3.6 million cases, and they finished the last three quarters with in-stock rates over 99%. Through this fulfillment, the team works with each individual location to ensure the processes align with local needs.

“What we’re working on at a very high level is forecasting, importing and distribution,” said Galkin. “We are setting up the freight plan with every new franchisee. Some are within our markets, meaning they’re close to our distribution centers, and others are outside of that network. We work with a third-party logistics company to handle that and come up with a plan, whether it’s once a week or once every two weeks, to support that franchise owner. Every franchisee is getting a customized distribution plan with my team that best supports their café based on their anticipated store volume.”

As the system grows rapidly, supply chain processes and support will continue to cater to the unique needs of each owner and café. In addition to ongoing strategy and support, Galkin says the team is consistently looking for ways to optimize the process and benefit local owners.

These changes include value engineering existing recipes, changing pack sizes for more efficient use of space and fewer deliveries, working with research and development teams to rely less on outside commodities, and even working to develop additional domestic manufacturing.

“We’re always looking to invent new ways to take freight costs down within the supply chain and out to the stores,” said Galkin. “Ultimately, within the next couple of years, increased domestic manufacturing is the way we’re going to reduce the cost of goods to our cafés and continue our focus of driving unit-level economics as well. All of what Paris Baguette provides franchisees for support, including our focus on the supply chain, allows us as the franchisor to provide our franchisees with the best pathway possible to increased profitability.”

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