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Le Pain Quotidien struggles amid COVID-19 closures

The fast-casual chain faced financial problems before the pandemic hit the U.S., according to media reports.
Le Pain Quotidien
Photo courtesy of Le Pain Quotidien

Fast-casual chain Le Pain Quotidien temporarily closed all of its units in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has laid off the majority of its team. 

"Unfortunately, we have had to lay off the majority of our team—it is heartbreaking to have to do so, but, we had no alternative," Patrick Jenkins, COO of Le Pain Quotidien US, said in an email to Restaurant Business. "We hope to rebuild the team as soon as circumstances permit."        

The chain had previously announced on its website that “in light of COVID-19 and out of concern for our guests, teams and communities at large, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close all U.S. restaurants until further notice.”

Le Pain Quotidien has more than 90 locations in New York, Connecticut, California, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Chicago and Miami.

“I can confirm that all U.S. stores of Le Pain Quotidien are closed and we hope to reopen as soon as conditions permit,” Jenkins said. “Beyond that, I can’t comment as this unprecedented challenge continues to unfold and our game plan(s) need to continually adjust correspondingly.”

But Le Pain Quotidien may have been in financial trouble before the virus. The chain was looking at closing units and had hired a real estate consultant months ago to examine its restaurants, according to the Post report.

Sales at the European-style bakery chain grew 1.2% to $192.2 million last year, according to estimates from RB sister company Technomic.

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