PoutineBros, the French franchise from Quebec

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by Valentine Puaux

If Nicolas and Camille Gaudin had not visited their brother Benjamin, who left to live in Montreal in 2013, the PoutineBros concept would never have seen the light of day in France in 2014. Since then, the restaurant brand, which highlights Quebec poutine, has two franchise establishments in Rennes (35) and Brest (29) and a branch in Carré-Sénart (77). Focus on the ambitions of this sibling of entrepreneurs.

Tabarnac, it’s poutine that we serve here! After a stay in the province of Quebec to visit their brother in 2013, Nicolas and Camille Gaudin, seduced by the Poutineville restaurant concept, a real institution for the locals, decided to take inspiration from this brand to create a similar concept in France. Born then, a year later, the first PoutineBros restaurant in Rennes, which its founders, in view of the success encountered with local residents, decided to expand 3 years later. And to duplicate in Brest, in October 2022, in addition to having opened a branch in the Carré Sénart shopping center (77) in January 2020.

“After this trip and this crush on poutine, the PoutineBros project seemed obvious! Especially since Camille and I were already from the restaurant business. The concept was popular and we opened up to the franchise in 2019. One year after starting to serve the real authentic cheese from Montreal, the Shack à Skouik”, Explain Nicolas Gaudin, co-founder of the brand.

MORE INFORMATION : Open a PoutineBros franchise

Operation seduction between Montreal, Rennes and Brest

Since then, the brand promises 8 poutine recipes to its clientele, including the ‘Grizzli’ with onions, the ‘Raptor’ made with ground beef and sausage, or even the ‘Apres-ski’, made with raclette cheese. But we also have burgers!”ensures Nicolas Gaudin, eager to satisfy all desires. In fact, what makes the brand’s DNA are its authentic ingredients, i.e. homemade fries and sauces designed in our laboratory to simplify logistics, since it is quality cuisine but assembly, our cheese directly imported from Quebec, and our warm decoration. We receive customers around solid wood furniture, otherwise from recycling or local carpentry. With the famous ‘bucheron’ fabric, with checks, that everyone knows. As for the wall decoration, we put forward vintage vinyls, from well-known artists there. And hockey sticks as a nod to this national sport”, says Nicolas Gaudin. Because the objective of the sign which advocates a concept of urban poutinerie typical of Montreal, with the clichés of old Quebec but without falling into the old-fashioned style”, is none other than bringing a touch of originality to the catering market.

This is also the reason why I trained as a cheesemaker in an agro-food school in Rennes, before being able to directly import the Shack to Skouik in Montreal via an importer, who then delivers it to us in Normandy. And thus refine our research and development processes”, adds the entrepreneur.

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Open between 3 and 6 poutineries per year

Next objectives of the three restaurateurs? Democratize the concept throughout the country, relying on a “average rate of between 3 and 6 openings per year, around deadlines of between 3 and 6 months on average for our future partners”, further notes Nicolas Gaudin. “TO start with a new location in the Loire (42), because our next franchisee should open between the end of December and the beginning of January in Tours”, specifies the latter.

READ ALSO : L’Hachez-Vous is targeting Le Mans, Marseille and the Paris region by the end of 2022

And the co-founder of PoutineBros to support his remarks, explaining that to join the sign, the candidates will have to offer him a room themselves (but in accordance with his specifications). I will of course accompany them, but we will have to respect our criteria because we mainly target towns of at least 100,000 inhabitants, town centers and student areas, rather than shopping centres. Also because a room of 100 m2 on the ground floor is needed to install an extraction device since fries are served. And why not also have a terrace!”, says Nicolas Gaudin. In addition, future poutiniers will have to be seasoned in management in order to not only follow an intense 5-week training course in the brand’s know-how and methods, but also manage a team of 10 people within their restaurant. Because, warns the franchisor, it will be expected to offer up to 14 services per week to customers, with wide opening hours. We will also be able to surround ourselves with multi-franchisees, already aware of the issues of yield and catering, in general, to increase their activity in the territory”.

350,000 euros of investment

Other skills required to join PoutineBros? Have a certain open-mindedness to continuously animate his establishment. Not only to make it attractive, but also original and festive. We have the ambition to offer rock concerts, organize DJ sets, or even set up photo booths or contests to go to Montreal, in collaboration with our communication team”explains Nicolas Gaudin who would like to eventually develop partnerships with other economic players near his addresses, especially with brands in the leisure or sports sector, such as with hockey clubs, to share North American culture”. Also because the brand’s restaurants need to maintain a certain pace.

We are on a target of 1,000,000 euros in turnover, at cruising speed, per restaurant. And for information, the annual turnover of the pilot restaurant in Rennes is 1,200,000 euros excluding taxes”, says the manager.

Finally, note that adhering to such a concept represents an overall investment of between 300,000 and 350,000 euros (excluding leasehold rights)with a minimum contribution of 100,000 euros and entrance fees estimated at 28,500 euros. Finally, count 5% in royalties (+1% dedicated to the brand’s marketing and communication budget). In any case, if you too want to bring Montreal back to your city, we are here to accompany you!”, concludes the co-founder of the sign and Breton of origin, who intends in parallel, to continue to open branches, to increase the notoriety of the brand.

* To pull a log: Quebec expression which means to take a chair

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