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Au Bon Pain is Under New Ownership

Ampex Brands, a longtime Yum! franchisee, buys the chain and creates a diverse team of franchise and operations experts to jumpstart the Au Bon Pain brand.

Ampex Brands, a Yum! Brands Inc. and 7-Eleven franchisee with more than 400 restaurants and convenience stores, acquired Au Bon Pain from ABP Corporation, a subsidiary of Panera Bread. The deal was finalized on June 29.

Au Bon Pain’s 171 locations will join the Ampex Brands family and is expected to increase the company’s revenue by approximately 10% annually. The acquisition also grants Ampex franchising rights to an additional 131 locations.

A longtime franchisee of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and 7-Eleven, Ampex now takes onthe role of the franchisor. The acquisition also expands the company’s footprint internationally.

A Team of Industry Vets

Mumtaz has assembled a diverse team of franchise and operations experts to jumpstart the Au Bon Pain brand, including Ericka Garza as Brand President. Garza has spent her career growing franchising for both domestic and international QSR brands, casual dining and C-Store segments. Most recently, she managed domestic traditional and nontraditional business as the Senior Franchise Growth Leader for Pizza Hut.

“The U.S. is reopening, and our markets are coming back to life,” said Garza. “As we open our cafés, Au Bon Pain’s brand reputation, loyal following, strong real estate and menu position the brand favorably for success. We also see opportunity in its nontraditional locations, currently in transportation hubs, airports, universities and hospitals. Smaller footprints with less dine-in seating are the future of fast-casual dining, and having a successful prototype with long-standing institutional relationships allows for flexibility as we grow.”

Au Bon Pain’s new leadership will also include Brian Bacica as Chief Operating Officer. Bacica has spent more than 30 years in hospitality, including 18 years in food and beverage leadership roles for Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Parks and most recently as CEO of PEAK Event Services.

Beth Collins will serve as Ampex Brands’ first Global Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing brand responsibilities for both Au Bon Pain and Ampex Brands. Collins is a 20-plus-year C-level marketing veteran in the fast-casual, casual dining and entertainment industries with companies such as Raising Cane’s, Texas Land & Cattle/Lone Star Steakhouse, Twin Peaks and Lucky Strike Entertainment.


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