In Focus
NEW CONCEPTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Paleo Café attempts to break into the fast food scene

From providing paleo food in its cafes, the brand now sets its sights on Aussies on the go.

Paleo Café prides itself on its healthy menu options, strictly enforcing a paleo diet and encouraging health-minded customers to try out its lifestyle. Noticing that there are very few healthy alternatives to fast food for busy Australians, brand founder Jai Hobbs now aims to bring the paleo lifestyle to fast food eaters.

“Paleo Café Express was developed due to customer demand and market trends. Market research showed that customers were looking for a truly healthy fast food option that offered quality produce at reasonable prices,” Hobbs told QSR Media.

“Many health conscious customers avoid eating out as they can’t trust what additives have been put into their food or where their food is sourced from. At Paleo Café we pride ourselves on the effort we go to, in order to ensure that our customers receive quality produce every time!”

While the original café caters to customers who want a leisurely dining experience, Paleo Café Express will aim to provide quickly prepared takeaway food but with the same promise of quality.

Hobbs said that menu items will include coffee, Bulletproof coffee, tea, juices, smoothies, kombucha, coconut water, a selection of sweet and savoury snacks as well as a range of meals to appeal to a broad range of consumers.

Specialty items will include dishes such guilt-free breakfast waffles served with a choice of mixed berries and coconut ice cream or banana, bacon and maple syrup. There are savoury sweet potato waffles with a choice of toppings such as BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw or an omelette waffle with a choice of fillings. Specialty offerings will accompany more traditional options including fresh salads, sweet potato chips, wraps and more.

All of the food that will be served is gluten, grain, refined sugar and preservative free with dairy being optional.

“The emphasis for Paleo Café has always been to make healthy living more convenient for our customers, and that emphasis will remain the same for Paleo Café Express which is an extension of that vision. Our focus on grass-fed and free-range meats and eggs, quality fruits and vegetables and healthy fats will carry through to the Express model,” Hobbs said.

“Customers will have peace of mind knowing their meals and drinks are free from potentially harmful substances such as gluten, refined sugar and preservatives, with a focus on real food. The concept and menu has been designed around speed of service to the customer without compromising on quality, a common concern from the public when ordering fast food.”

To help ease the shift into the fast food scene, the brand recently appointed Peter Goldsmith, an experienced General Manager in small business, franchising and food business. Hobbs explained that this has raised the knowledge, skill and experience of the management team to manage the brand’s growth ahead.

Paleo Café is also presently negotiating brand collaborations to enhance its offerings and engagement with its customers.

“Our key business principles and vision remain the same with Paleo Café Express which are designed to compliment our existing café businesses, by offering Paleo Café products to a wider spectrum of the market, and in doing so, introducing more customers to the brand and lifestyle,” Hobbs said.

“It will also build brand awareness through high profile locations such as airports, malls and train stations. Customer demands are changing faster than ever, and as a brand it is important to continue to evolve and adapt in order to create the greatest service to our customers, along with a positive impact on the food and health industry, in this country and beyond.”

Hobbs noted that the new Express model will present “a supply opportunity for café franchisees to align with express sites in their area, to offer, for example, readymade meals for retailing, particularly in conjunction with Paleo28 (our 28-day health project with meals supplied), as well as other resources.”

Pointing out that managing both a café and Express model isn’t uncommon in the food and franchising industry, Hobbs said that this new model will provide a valuable opportunity for both Paleo Café and our customers.

Paleo Café Express is looking for high foot traffic locations in middle to upper demographic areas with a health conscious community. Currently, the brand is in negotiations with a number of sites in the South East corner of Queensland and Sydney, with a location expected to be finalised shortly for an opening before the end of 2015.

Hobbs emphasized that due to the lower entry costs and more simplistic management structure, the Express model will be appealing to a broader market of people looking to start or own their own business.

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