Darren Tipton, CEO of Paris Baguette — which began in South Korea and has thousands of locations worldwide, and 80+ locations in the U.S. — had to learn quickly on the job how to pivot in the challenging times of a pandemic.
Shortly after Tipton took the helm in January, the COVID-19 crisis hit the United States and Tipton took swift action, by temporarily closing 30% of their locations, laying off employees, and upending safety procedures in their cafes. They also shifted to a completely contactless delivery, pickup, and to-go structure for the first time in the chain’s history. But for Tipton, this change was different than other types of food and restaurant businesses offering food delivery:
“We viewed ourselves as an essential business,” Tipton said. “Our bread and baked goods — especially our loaf bread saw an incredible sales increase. I see us as similar to supermarkets in terms of essential needs.”
But other than temporarily closing stores and laying off employees, as well as changing their business model to become a grocery/essential goods outlet for people in need, Tipton does not see the bakery/café business changing significantly in the long run:
“Looking at long-term strategy, we want to remain true to who we are: a bakery with our breads, pastries and cakes,” Tipton said. “we will continue to represent with our salads and sandwiches, we are a bakery first and foremost.”
Learn more in the video below: