La Madeleine's Seeks Growth via Refranchising


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La Madeleine's French Bakery & Cafe, the French-themed bakery concept under the Le Duff umbrella is embarking on a major refranchising effort led by the Cypress Group.

Olivier Poirot, CEO of Le Duff, said unlike the past few years of mostly corporate growth. Currently, the brand has 25 franchised locations, but under the new plan, Poirot said they would be refranchising 38 of the current 83 corporate locations in an effort to double the size of the brand.

"With a brand that is as strong as la Madeleine, we have a tremendous opportunity to double its size within the next five years through refranchising," Poirot said in the release. "We are looking for successful, committed partners with the desire, experience and financial ability to continue operating the restaurants to their current high standards and quickly grow our brand beyond its current footprint."

He said with the strong, multi-unit operators they hope to attract with the effort, the brand will be able grow "the right way" with staff and cash flow already in place, and then expand. The restaurants have an average unit volume of $2.4 million and six years of comp growth said to brand CEO John Cahill, who spoke during a presentation at the Franchise Times Finance and Growth Conference.

“I joined the organization with a growth agenda,” Poirot told the Dallas Business Journal. “We want franchisees who can absorb lots of restaurants, but have a proven track record of being able to expand rapidly into new territories.”

The deals will be contingent on the franchisees adding stores over the next five years. Cahill said the Cypress Group will be leading the efforts.  

“They’ve got a tremendous network and a proven track record with brokering these types of deals,” said Cahill.

Find the full press release and contact information below:


DALLAS (March 15, 2017) – La Madeleine, the country French-inspired bakery-cafe with more than 80 locations across the U.S., will double the brand’s size through a refranchising initiative, it announced today at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference.

In a conference presentation, la Madeleine President John Cahill said the growing brand, which offers authentic “maison-made” original recipes and fresh baked goods at breakfast, lunch and dinner, has long been notable for its industry-leading AUVs and strong operations. He said the company will sell entire existing markets of successful la Madeleine restaurants, and is seeking potential buyers such as successful multi-unit operators of other brands as well as existing La Madeleine franchisees who can use the acquisition of the restaurants as a solid base for growth.

“Our new growth strategy is unique because it offers multi-unit operators the opportunity to hit the ground running with whole markets and top-performing stores,” said Cahill. “With the staff already in place and positive cash flow from the restaurants, franchisees can start growing the brand right away.” 

La Madeleine’s parent company, Le Duff America Inc., is the Dallas-based subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff, the world leader in the bakery-cafe segment with nearly 1,700 locations across five continents and 80 countries. Its new CEO, Olivier Poirot, announced upon his arrival that his chief focus would be on growing through franchising – following the Groupe Le Duff business model for success.

“With a brand that is as strong as la Madeleine, we have a tremendous opportunity to double its size within the next five years through refranchising,” said Poirot. “We are looking for successful, committed partners with the desire, experience and financial ability to continue operating the restaurants to their current high standards and quickly grow our brand beyond its current footprint.” 

La Madeleine will continue to operate corporate restaurants in Dallas so it can demonstrate operational excellence to support franchisees. Corporate markets currently offered for refranchising are Houston, Atlanta, Austin, the D.C. area and Louisiana.

“This model allows us to continue delivering the outstanding food quality and experience that our guests expect,” said Cahill. “Franchisees will learn the ‘la Madeleine way’ from people who have served the brand for years or even decades.”

The company has partnered with The Cypress Group, which specializes in restaurant and franchise investment banking and was named a 2016 Franchise Times Dealmaker of the Year, to manage the company’s refranchising program. Potential franchisees can contact Dan Collins at 303-680-4141, extension 105, or dcollins@cypressgroup.biz for additional information.

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