MINNEAPOLIS, US – Caribou Coffee, a national premium coffeehouse and Panera Brands portfolio concept, announced today the launch of its domestic franchise program. Since its inception in 1992, Caribou Coffee has emerged as a leader in the coffeehouse segment known for innovative handcrafted products and award-winning customer experience, with over 718 locations systemwide including 314 company-owned primarily across the Midwest.
Leveraging the successful model that has fueled continued growth for three decades, Caribou Coffee’s domestic franchise launch marks the first time interested candidates in the United States have an opportunity to own and operate coffeehouses which were previously only available internationally, through non-traditional or licensing.
Industry-leading innovations in restaurant design have further positioned Caribou Coffee for nationwide expansion, including the 2019 roll-out of its trailblazing Caribou Cabin prototype featuring a significantly smaller footprint and drive-thru focused model designed to offer speed and convenience without sacrificing quality and service. Spearheaded by the vision from the brand’s President and CEO John Butcher, the Caribou Cabins’ streamlined design and efficient model immediately translated to success, with the first several stores reporting industry-leading customer satisfaction and strong sales and traffic even in the midst of the pandemic. Over the past two years, Caribou has leveraged this momentum to propel its expansion through the Caribou Cabin model with dozens of new locations and more in development.
The Caribou Cabin design coupled with the concept’s traditional coffeehouse prototype, featuring a larger footprint for sit-down dining, offers franchisees flexible offerings that can cater to the unique criteria of their market and accelerate growth.
“Over the past 30 years, Caribou Coffee has refined and elevated the guest experience through an unwavering commitment to quality, as well as investments in innovation. Leveraging our unit growth and omnichannel performance, we’ve designed scalable processes and support services to enable franchisees’ success,” said John Butcher, president and CEO of Caribou Coffee. “Recognizing Caribou Cabins’ immense expansion potential, we’ve optimized this business model through our corporate-owned locations and are focused on replicating the success we’ve experienced in new markets in partnership with franchise owners.”
Earlier this year, Caribou Coffee united with Panera Bread® and Einstein Bros.® Bagels as part of the launch of the new fast casual platform Panera Brands. Under the Panera Brands portfolio, Caribou Coffee has further strengthened the unparalleled level of expertise and support driving the brand’s future franchise development. While each Panera Brands company is independently operated, their partnership brings together word-class executive teams and brands.
“At Panera Brands, we are united by our shared values and our guest centered innovation. With their strong business model and new assets like the new drive-thru focused Caribou Cabin, Caribou Coffee is bringing an exciting new vehicle to potential franchisees while meeting their guests’ desire for convenience,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO, Panera Brands.
From hand crafted beverages made with clean label ingredients to being the first major U.S. coffeehouse to make a 100% Rainforest Alliance commitment to green coffee sourcing, Caribou Coffee has differentiated itself as a pioneer of innovation. Additionally, the Midwest-based brand has successfully elevated its visibility with consumers nationwide through its thriving omnichannel presence with retail products available to all 50 states. Further fueling brand awareness across the U.S. is the recent launch of Caribou’s new subscription program that allows customers to curate a variety of its products shipped directly to their door.
Caribou Coffee is seeking experienced multi-unit operators to join its nationwide development efforts. Qualified candidates have extensive franchising and food and beverage experience, ideally with a background in multi-unit franchise ownership. Franchise opportunities are available in target markets throughout the U.S., including Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado and the Southeast, among others.