Belgian bread chain Le Pain Quotidien will soon open its very first vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Ghent, Belgium. To avoid any misunderstandings with its regular restaurants, it will use a new brand name, Le Botaniste.
The project is still in its infancy, but the goal is to create a sustainable restaurant with only locally-produced, seasonal items on the menu. Prices would vary from 5 to 10 euro. "People should look at it like a Pain Quotidien laboratory", CEO Vincent Herbert said. "We want to try out things and see how the consumer reacts. If the dishes prove to be popular, we can easily branch out those dishes internationally thanks to our chain of restaurants."
Currently, there are no plans to expand the formula on a global scale, but the company does not want to rule out that idea altogether. If it is successful, other cities or countries may get their own Le Botaniste stores.
Le Pain Quotidien's holding, PQ Licensing, owns 60 % of the new formula, while the remaining 40 % belongs to the Le Pain Quotidien founder Alain Coumont and entrepreneur Gregory Verellen. 25 years after its launch, Coument still owns 3 % of 'his' Pain Quotidien chain.