French restaurant chain La Pataterie has opened its first foreign store in Tournai, Belgium, earlier today.
"Symbolic milestone in our expansion"
La Pataterie has 173 French stores, servicing 4.7 million customers in the first half of 2013. The newest store, in Tournai, will be focusing on the qualities that made La Pataterie successful in France: generous portions and affordable prices (seven dishes costing no more than 7 euro), cosiness and quality food with the potato as main ingredient.
"Opening a store in Belgium is a new symbolic milestone in the international expansion of the chain, even though we are cautious and humble in the approach”, CEO Alexandre Maizoué stated. The menu, changing twice a year, will be slightly changed to accommodate local flavours.
"France remains a priority "
La Pataterie aims to have some 300 stores by 2017, but so far it is unclear how many restaurants will be opened in Belgium. “Our priority is to grow and anchor ourselves in the French market, but if all goes well, we can push on with the international expansion, with extraordinary perspectives in sight”, Maizoué said.
The first half of 2013 resulted in a 76.05 million euro turnover for La Pataterie, a 22 % growth compared to the same period in 2012. The turnover growth was created by 11 new restaurants, easily offsetting the lowered visitor frequency (-12 %).
(Translated by Gary Peeters)