Vending Machine for Fresh-Baked Pizza
Le Bread Xpress is bringing micro-baking technology to the U.S.
Using French artisan recipes, the company's vending machines deliver warm, fresh-baked products like croissants, pizzas, and bread in just seconds.
To date, Le Bread Xpress has received orders for 10 machines from customers including the University of California, Berkeley. Potential customers in its pipeline include Google, Hilton, and Starbucks.
The company is targeting the $46 billion food service market, as well as the fast-growing market for vending machines. According to Accumen Research, the global vending machine market is projected to surpass $34 billion by 2026.
Founder Benoit Herve, a former executive for two previous startups that were acquired, launched Le Bread Xpress in homage to his grandfather, a former baker in France.
After moving to the U.S., Herve noticed that most bread lacked freshness and quality. Meanwhile, back in France, an innovative vending machine that sold fresh, warm baguettes was growing in popularity. This was the inspiration to bring micro-baking technology to America.
The company’s machines use dual heating systems and adaptive cooking times so they can offer multiple types of baked goods. Other machines only offer a single item.
The machines feature a 55-inch touch screen, which is used to display the menu and ads while customers wait for their order. In addition, each machine has cloud-based remote monitoring capabilities, and alerts suppliers when inventory is running low. Customers can pay for items using Apple and Google Pay.
Notably, Le Bread Xpress has partnered with La Boulangerie to supply its products. This bakery company gained popularity throughout the 2000s, selling 27-layer croissants as well as pastries, breads, sandwiches, and pizza. In 2012, the business was acquired by Starbucks for $100 million.
Its founder, renowned French baker Pascal Rigo, was put in charge of leading Starbucks’ food division, and soon doubled the company’s food sales. In September 2015, Rigo bought the business back and re-opened it. In 2019, the company began franchising and now has locations throughout California.
Le Bread Xpress has four sources of revenue:
• Sales of its machines.
• Sales of food items.
• Licensing fees on each machine sold.
• And on-screen advertisements.
Using a sale price of $8 for a pizza, and assuming a machine sold 50 pizzas per day, that machine would generate $12,000 of revenue per month for just that one item.
According to Le Bread Xpress, its customers could earn more than $5,000 in gross profit each month from one machine.
The company’s target markets include universities, corporate offices, hospitals, hotels, transportation hubs, and retailers looking to provide a gourmet alternative to snack foods.
Upon sampling food from one of the company’s machines, an executive Vice President of a large food service company noted, “This is the best food I ever had from a vending machine, even from a store.”
In addition to the 10 machines already ordered, the company has contractual options to sell 65 machines within the next six months.
Recently, a large automotive group ordered six machines, as did UC Berkeley. Moving forward, Google could potentially order 200 machines for its headquarters, and Hilton could order between 700 and 1,000 units for its hotels.
Other potential customers include Starbucks and its 8,000 stores in the U.S., and 7/11 convenience stores. In total, Le Bread Xpress aims to sell 100 machines in 2020.
Benoit is a marketing expert with more than 20 years in the industry.
He began his career as a marketing manager for Motorola (NYSE: MSI), and then moved on to become Strategic Marketing Manager for ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ: ON), a manufacturing company.
He spent four years as Director of Business Development and Vice President of Marketing for Powervation, a startup building microprocessors for computers, and later was Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Enpirion, a company producing semiconductors. Enpirion was acquired by Altera in 2014 for $120 million.
Benoit earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Esiee Paris, and a Master’s degree in Electronics.
Anthony has extensive experience in the food, wine, and hospitality industries.
Before joining Le Bread Xpress, he was Business Development and Operations Manager for a French restaurant called Gregoire Restaurant, where he led planning of operations to meet sales, cost, service, and food quality.
Prior to that, he spent two years as a culinary assistant at Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, California. And before that, he was a cooking and events manager for Kitchen on Fire, a company that teaches culinary skills.
He earned a degree in Hotel and & Restaurant Business from Lycee Hotelier Rabelais in France and took courses in Wine Studies at UC Berkeley.