Thursday, February 24, 2022

Great Harvest Bakery Cafés Classic Growth Model


Fresh baked bread is one of the best things ever according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  When you look at a traditional bakery concept the ilk of Great Harvest Bakery Café and their legacy business model for growth “Hub & Spoke” you can understand how investors and consumers can rejoice. 

In case you did not know, Great Harvest Bakery Café has reported same store sales for Q4 of 2021, they were up 14.9 percent compared to 2019.  Regular readers of this blog know that 2019 was the last “normal” year for comparison. When you look for year over year or in this case like to like sales comparison to big box competitors and other quick-service brands in the space, Great Harvest markets for that same quarter, reported cafe sales are up 17.7 percent vs 2019. That’s good.

Eric Keshin, president and CMO of Great Harvest Bread Company, stated, “Being a high-growth concept, we chose to perfect our expansion model, which aligns with the direction of the quick-service, casual dining environment that must provide investors and entrepreneurs with state-of-the-art strategies to address real estate challenges and production costs, all while serving ‘main street’ and surrounding communities efficiently,”. “We have identified 50 markets positioned for this multi-unit expansion program.”

Readers of this blog know that the Hub & Spoke system is designed in today’s world for the multi-unit operator in order to reduce cost through smaller footprint cafe locations to maximize a Hub’s production capabilities.

The Hubs are full bakery cafes with seating for 40-45 people and have all the handmade bread production on-site. Spokes operate as cafes; they have fresh bread supplied by the Hub daily and should be located within 40 minutes of a Hub. Their menu is the same as their Hub; they bake items on-site like cookies, biscuits, scones, etc., to maintain the aroma of a bakery.

So, the footprint of a Spoke should be around seventy percent (70%) of a Hub’s footprint. This significantly reduces upfront development costs as well as operating costs.

Do you want to get in on the action?  If so, the Hub & Spoke model can be purchased from existing legacy locations with active revenue stream to then expand around them, partnership with single-operators to further expand the market presence and enter brand new markets with Hub & Spoke units. Opportunities exist in the following markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Birmingham, Greenville, and Spokane and within the following states: California, Florida, Texas and Washington D.C.

Here is an example, the owners of Southlake, Texas took over an existing location and quickly added two additional spokes around the legacy store. In Elkins, WV, the owner introduced the company into the newer market first, then added the second location within his second year.

The made-from scratch bread making concept was deemed essential as bakery cafes around the U.S. continued to feed communities through food shortages and provided donated bread to local food banks.

Keshin went on to say, “We held on and grew through the pandemic as franchisees adapted to meet the needs of the consumer. From popular annual LTO’s, superior breakfast sandwiches to on-the-go convenience, our wide variety of sandwiches and specialty sweet items naturally set the company apart from big box QSR competitors,”. “Demand for authentic bread is evident.” Is your business model made for today? Yesterday? Or tomorrow?

Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us at:

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