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Paris Baguette Is Winning Franchisees Thanks to a Great Labor Model and Tightly-Focused Menu

Bread baked on site. A small store size. Employee flexibility. It all adds up to a better product for this growing bakery café franchise.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 11:11AM 09/08/21

The best-made bread in the world is not simply a product. It’s an art. It’s a passion. Most of all, it’s a personal expression of the person who makes it.

But in a tight labor market, finding and retaining the right people to make that bread can be a challenge. 

Paris Baguette, a growing franchise with 4,000 stores worldwide and growing, thinks it’s found a solution to these tricky labor issues, which most restaurants are currently dealing with in one form or another. The brand’s labor model allows employees to produce artisanally crafted, delicious baked goods that are worthy of any bakery café, help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, as well as keep customers happy and coming back for more. 

This smart labor approach is attracting franchisees, too. The brand opened more than 15 U.S. locations last year, and now the franchise is preparing to hone in on the unique benefits of its brand DNA to reach 1,000 units across the U.S. over the next 10 years.

So what’s Paris Baguette’s secret?

Products Baked On-Site With Pride

“If you look at most chain bakeries, the food might have been made hundreds of miles away from the store, and you can tell. It’s not fresh,” said Mark Mele, Paris Baguette’s chief development officer. “At Paris Baguette, teams are in their cafes every morning proofing dough, and you can instantly see the art, skill and passion that goes into every item we sell.” 

But Paris Baguette manages to create all its delicious cakes, pastries, breads, baguettes, sandwiches, and coffee in-house with a lean, focused team of cakers, bakers and baristas. “It means our products are just a step above our competition,” said Mele.

Unlike other bakery café concepts that have an ever-growing list of menu options — which adds to their operational complexity, store footprint size, staffing needs and amount of headaches — Paris Baguette is sticking to its small-footprint, grab-and-go model.

“You see so many other brands spreading themselves too thin,” said Mele. “They’re moving into full-service and generally trying to do too much — they lose focus. And what we saw last year, unfortunately, was that many of those brands were unable to stay afloat when the consumer landscape shifted.”

A Better Approach to Labor

Paris Baguette’s operational model was engineered to reduce labor and allow franchisees and employees a favorable work-life balance. Most items are prepared in the morning, so kitchens close early and back of the house employees don’t have to work late, said Mele. For those with children, the morning hours can be ideal, allowing them to balance work and family obligations.

This highly focused approach had another benefit during the pandemic of 2020 as well: It proved critical in the time of social distancing and the mass closure of dining rooms and allowed the brand to carve out an enviable position for itself as the dominant player in its segment. Brands that tried to grow beyond their original mission found themselves with empty, unused dining rooms. As the consumer preference for off-premise options continues, that is unlikely to change. 

Mele said that Paris Baguette’s scale and scope means it’s already right-sized for the future and is poised for continued growth.

The total investment to franchise with Paris Baguette ranges from $709,193 to $1,386,292, including a $50,000 franchise fee. If you enter into an area development agreement, you must develop a minimum of four stores. For more information on franchising with Paris Baguette, please visit

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