The US bakery cafe chain Au Bon Pain entered the country with the launch of its first cafe in Bangalore on Thursday.
The Boston-based bakery chain plans to open 10 cafes in Bangalore itself and another 40 across the Southern cities with an investment of around Rs 30 crore by 2012, the company said.
Au Bon Pain has entered the country through a joint venture between Spencer's Retail and Varin Narula, who is the director and promoter of the chain.
Bangalore was chosen to set up the first cafe owing to the city's cosmopolitan nature. The city also has a large expat population, RPG Group Retail Sector President and Chief Executive Sumantra Banerjee said at the launch. The cafe has also set up a state-of-art manufacturing unit with an investment of Rs seven crore in the city.
Au Bon Pain has over 250 branches spread across the US, South Korea, Tiwan, and Thailand. "We expect to be seen in the most visible corners of urban India", Au Bon Pain International Franchising Senior Vice President Bernard Platt said.
Au Bon Pain would offer its signature dishes and authentic breads with zero trans fat.
The Bangalore cafe is spread over 2,000 sqft and would serve `build-it-yourself' range and assortment of breakfast and lunch items.
Interestingly, the chain announced that its primarily non-veg menu would include vegetarian dishes, keeping in mind the culture and the local palate.