Caribou Coffee announces national franchise under the Panera brands


Caribou Coffee, owned by JAB Holding, announced Monday that the 718-unit coffee chain is launching a national franchise program. Previously, the brand was only available in non-traditional or licensed locations.

This announcement follows the creation of Panera Brands by JAB Holding Co. with sister brands Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels, all under one platform. However, Caribou Coffee will not be co-branded with Panera and Einstein Bagels as it will expand into new and pre-existing markets like Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado and the Southeast.

“We are really proud to be part of the Panera Brands portfolio and to be associated with Panera and Einstein,” Caribou Coffee CEO John Butcher told Nation’s Restaurant News. “This has allowed us to amplify and accelerate our product and our innovation, our customer experience and all the other things our customers have loved about Caribou for decades. We are very complementary and like-minded brands […] and together we can be force multipliers for good.

As Caribou Coffee expands beyond its current in-store presence in 20 states, Butcher said they will focus on a healthy mix of several prototype stores: the Caribou Cabin – which debuted in 2019 in as a 650-square-foot drive-thru / walk-in store with no dining area – and the chalet, which measures 2,000 square feet and has seating inside.

“We believe the trend for convenience and the desire for efficiency and precision are not changing,” said Butcher. “We expect that the customer’s preference for efficiency, especially for the morning day, will not go away. […] But we also believe that neighborhoods need coffeeshops. They are the gathering place for the community.

Currently, Caribou Coffee has not set quantified targets for its franchise announcement and is currently focusing on quality of partnerships rather than quantity.

“We need franchisees to care about our [people-driven] mission as much as we do, ”Butcher said.

Butcher plans to announce new franchise deals by the end of 2021.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi


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