“Con pan y vino se anda el camino” Spanish saying (with bread and wine you can walk your road)
“Avoid those who don’t like bread and children” Swiss proverb
Bread has always been playing a substantial role in our everyday life since the beginning of ages.
Not surprisingly, every restaurant concept based on it, is destined for success upon its careful implementation.
Today we’ll consider the concept of bakeries of the Belgic origin – Le Pain Quotidien – that opened its first store in Barcelona on October, 25, 2012.
Let’s begin with the concept itself and then consider its implementation.
The first store was opened in Brussels in 1990.
At the moment there are 176 stores in 18 countries, which is the result of restless efforts of the founder of the chain to expand it.
The mission of the company is to provide organic products for long and enduring relationships; for body, communities and the earth.
A part of the philosophy is sharing feelings and ideas. Therefore, Le Pain Quotidien was the first bakery to put a big table to share in a cornerstone of its concept. Interestingly, this piece of furniture is gaining still more popularity with every single day.
Whichever country you go to, you will always find wooden furniture, charcoal boards, show stands with homemade jam, chocolate and organic condiments in every store of le Pain Quotidien as a mark of its brand image.
Delicious smell of bread will make you feel warm like by a fireplace at any time of day indifferent of the weather.
To sum it up, the concept is great and easy to expand with. However, success of every store depends on quality of its implementation and similarity to the local culture.
So far, there are 5 stores in Madrid and one store in Barcelona. There have been announced plans of further expansion up to 25 stores in Spain.
http://m.lepainquotidien.es/ (Doesn’t work or is not optimized for tablets)
A Spanish definition of Le Pain Quotidien is as follows.
It is a simple and elegant store that serves bakery, soups, tartinas, salads, breakfast and homemade pastry as well as organic handmade bread.
Given a clear and successful concept one might suggest that the store in Barcelona might be a hot spot. Is it?
A grade of TripAdvisor suggests it is 5/5.
However, a score of Foursquare is 5,9/10.
What is the reason of such a significant difference?
Let’s have a closer look at the store itself.
The store has a great location. Very centric, just in front of Casa Mila, one of the most visited sites in Barcelona.
Both bakery and the restaurant show an impeccable implementation of the concept and its major differentiating sights: big tables to share, wooden furniture, beautiful pastry stands, show cases with homemade products, organic condiments on every table, delicious smell and cozy atmosphere. And there is wifi.
But as soon as one take a menu, the difference from any local coffee shop or similar restaurant gets obvious. Prices are about 30% higher than average.
For the majority of tourists from the Northern Europe or Russia, these prices don’t differ at all from usual. But for the local population, it is significant.
Besides, the style of push-service can make anyone feel uncomfortable. It is great that employees can offer dishes and drinks, but the border between being helpful and intrusive must be observed. Well, you can try and avoid it a bit if you go to the bakery zone.
Thus, we can easily see that the main problem of the store is its service. However, for many people living in Barcelona, high pricing can be regarded as a problem too.
As a tradition goes, let’s make a SWOT analysis of the concept.
- Easy to understand, implement. Bread is a part of everyday life.
- Comfortable and disposing design
- High standard of quality
- Expansion in touristic zones
- New bakeries without restaurant zone
- Supply of bread and pastry to local bakeries without its own production
- Competition with local bakeries offering traditional bread and pastry
- Poor reviews
In my personal opinion, “Le Pain Quotidien” is worth visiting at least once.
However, there are other places in Barcelona with more delicious coffee, pastry, food, and atmosphere!
More about them next time..