Caribou Coffee and Panera Brands launch domestic franchise program

Caribou coffee

American coffee chain Caribou Coffee and Panera Brands, which is a portfolio consisting of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels, has launched a domestic franchise program for the United States.

This marks the first time in which interested candidates in the US have the opportunity to own and operate a Caribou coffeehouse, which was previously only available internationally, through non-traditional or licensing.

Founded in 1992, Caribou Coffee now has more than 718 locations systemwide, with its “industry-leading innovations in restaurant design” positioning Caribou Coffee for nationwide expansion.

In 2019, the brand rolled out its Caribou Cabin prototype, which is a drive-thru focused model which offers a significantly smaller environmental footprint. The cabin-style design combined with the traditional coffeehouse concept sees Caribou Cabin customers offered a larger sit-down dining area.

This prototype aims to offer speed and convenience while maintaining quality and service. Born from the vision of John Butcher, Caribou Coffee’s CEO and President, the company reported seeing success in the form of customer satisfaction and increased sales from its trial stores.

Over the past two years, Caribou Coffee has expanded this Cabin prototype to several new locations with more currently being built. The company saying this new cabin offers potential franchisees flexible offerings that can cater to the unique market and accelerate growth.

“Over the past 30 years, Caribou Coffee has refined and elevated the guest experience through an unwavering commitment to quality, as well as investments in innovation. Leveraging our unit growth and omnichannel performance, we’ve designed scalable processes and support services to enable franchisees’ success,” says John Butcher, President and CEO of Caribou Coffee.

“Recognising Caribou Cabin’s immense expansion potential, we’ve optimised this business model through our corporate-owned locations and are focused on replicating the success we’ve experienced in new markets in partnership with franchise owners.”

Together with its Panera Brands portfolio, which was formed in early 2021, Caribou Coffee says it has further strengthened its level of expertise and support, driving the brand’s future franchise development.

While each Panera Brands company is independently operated, their partnership brings together executive teams and brands.

“At Panera Brands, we are united by our shared values and our guest centred innovation. With their strong business model and new assets like the new drive-thru focused Caribou Cabin, Caribou Coffee is bringing an exciting new vehicle to potential franchisees while meeting their guests’ desire for convenience,” says Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Brands.

Caribou Coffee is seeking experienced multi-unit operators to join its national development efforts. Qualified candidates have extensive franchising and food and beverage experience, ideally with a background in multi-unit franchise ownership. Franchise opportunities are available in target markets throughout the US.

For more information on Caribou Coffee’s franchise opportunities, visit

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