Expansion underway for Wooden Bakery in 2015

Wooden Bakery is moving its unique bakery brand forward through the means of Area Development franchising.

Customers have been consistently attracted to Wooden Bakery for its innovation and creativity, both in regard to outstanding customer service and the products it provides.

Already established as a market leader, Wooden Bakery has already been franchised in Lebanon, with 31 franchised outlets, six of which are company owned.

Shareholder and Vice-Chairman, Ghassan Bou Habib attributes part of the success of its franchise model to the refined tastes of the Lebanese people, who are drawn to Wooden Bakery’s excellence in the aforementioned areas of quality products and dedication to customer service, which it has duly replicated across each of its franchised stores.

The franchise model has enabled substantial growth, allowing Wooden Bakery to spread its presence throughout Lebanon and beyond, to the point where it now serves more than 60,000 satisfied customers per day. There is clearly a loyal and growing client-base in place for new franchise owners: customers who appreciate the continuity and consistency afforded by franchising.

Increased demand

In 2014, Wooden Bakery’s new branches were: Adonis, Sayda, Naccache, Furn El Chebbak, Choueifat, Bekfaya, and Mar Roukoz-Hazmieh, all of which are supported by the bakery plant.

As a result of Wooden Bakery’s growth, 2015 will see more new branches dispersed around Lebanon. The expansion process continues in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), where there are already six Wooden Bakery outlets. Two new high-grade plants are currently under construction to complement the upgrade of Wooden Bakery’s existing plant, which is undergoing renovation works to cope with the increased demand and help service the new outlets.

When the two new plants are completed, Wooden Bakery will be ready for sub-franchising, and will push on from this strong position into the Emirati and Qatari markets, with excellent opportunities for new owners.

Store layout modification

Always looking to drive forward and modernise, high on Wooden Bakery’s agenda this year has been the many upgrades to the layout of its stores, ensuring both franchise owners and their customers enjoy the best-possible environment and the quality food is as visible as possible.

The sleek, stylish and modern new layout showcases the line cooking element, by bringing it forward from the back area of branches to be alongside the pizza and Manakeesh ovens, while the preparation of sandwiches is also being made more visible, by being transferred to the front office desks, where customers will be attracted by the idea of being able to see their food being prepared.

The company believes these changes will allow it to decrease labour costs for its franchise owners at the same time as saving space by deceasing the necessary size of kitchens and making Wooden Bakery stores even more attractive for loyal and new customers alike.

Therefore, it will also significantly lower the cost of new branches from US$450,000 to $350,000.

As for manpower, the ideal workforce for a Wooden Bakery outlet has been optimised to just 12 employees, down greatly from the 22 previously needed.

Product expansion

Perhaps the most exciting element of Wooden Bakery’s rapid development, both to customers and potential franchise owners, is the huge range of new products either already on the shelves or in the works for 2015.

After great consultation between the Board of Directors, the Research and Development and Production departments, and Sales and Marketing Managers, the following changes to the line-up and production techniques have been made.

Where previously, assorted Arabic Sweets were displayed and sold singularly, an attractive display box has now been designed to include a selection of the treats in a single purchase.

Wooden Bakery has continued to apply and refine the pre-fermented frozen process to ensure the highest quality and best flavor for products after storage and transportation.

The Research and Development department, which previously sold Muffin Bonbons in packs, has begun selling the product individually to attract more customers and boost sales for franchise owners Additionally, item descriptions have been modified and refined to better suit the tastes and needs of customers, which will again drive increased sales.