Corner Bakery Cafe eyes more airport locations

CBC Restaurant Corp., parent to the Corner Bakery Cafe chain, is looking to expand its presence in non-traditional airport locations, the company said last week.

Dallas-based CBC, which has more than 185 corporate and franchised traditional locations, is working to expand its airport Corner Bakery Cafe operations, CBC vice president of franchise sales Gregg Koffler said.

“We have a presence in so many major markets that it certainly makes sense to expand the reach into major airports,” Koffler told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Having the marquee in the terminals is also a great way to promote the brand.”

The 2,200-square-foot airport location and its grab-and-go kiosks have been successful, Koffler said.

“We feel we’d be a great fit for other major airports,” he said.

Corner Bakery Cafe offers several selling points for airport concessionaires, Koffler said, including its healthful menu options for travelers and a flexible footprint.

“The footprint is very flexible,” Koffler said. “Our more urban locations can have 30 or 40 seats, even if it’s just a patio, to 140 or 150 seats. Airports are different because a lot of folks aren’t sitting down. They are taking it to go. That makes us more flexible with the airport footprint than with the street side.”

Ric Scicchitano, Corner Bakery Cafe executive vice president of food and supply chain, said in a statement: “Travelers are increasingly health conscious and are demanding more options from the airports in which they travel. We are meeting that demand in Atlanta and soon will be doing the same in other busy airports across the country.”

The airport push is part of CBC’s goal to double its unit count over the next two years, a company spokeswoman said.

Koffler added that airports are lucrative for brand development. The company noted that the Airports Council International of North America estimated that more than 40 percent of retail and food and beverage sales at airports are generated by national chains.

But getting a toehold into airports can be challenging, he said.

“Airports are tough to get into relative to the RFP [request for proposal] process,” Koffler said.” We’ve reached out to the major players in the field to let them know we’d like to be in the airport business.”

Airport terminal developments are excluded from traditional street-side franchise agreements, he said.

Corner Bakery Cafe has fast-casual restaurants in 21 states and Washington, D.C.

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