Crepes Aren’t Just for the French. Here’s a Look at 7 of the Top Crepe Franchises.
If you’re looking for some Parisian inspiration in your next business venture, consider a crepe franchise. Crepe franchises have become very popular and offer a food business with less overhead and fewer headaches than typical fast-casual restaurants. Crepes can be sweet or savory and can be served at any time of day. Most crepe franchises are open for breakfast and lunch, meaning they have family-friendly hours. Since crepe franchises need very little equipment, investors don’t have to commit to expensive build-outs and leases. Many crepe businesses can run from food trucks, street carts, and kiosks at malls.
But what is the history behind the crepe, and is it a business with staying power?
Origin of the Crepe
While the origin of the crepe is unknown, legend has it that this thin pancake was a happy accident. In the 13th century, a housewife in the Brittany region of France unexpectedly spilled buckwheat porridge onto a flat cooking stone. This created a thin pancake, and it spread across France. While this may just be an urban legend, there is some merit to it as many crepes are made with buckwheat flour batter mix, according to AESU. Fast forward to today, and the crepe is internationally known.
Franchise owners of all backgrounds can benefit from owning a crepe franchise. With a simple business model and irresistible product, a crepe franchise can be a good addition to any neighborhood. Here is a look at seven crepe franchise opportunities to consider.
Best Crepe Franchises
Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café
Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café first opened in Houston’s Rice Village in 2012. Over time, the crepe brand has become a hotspot in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, College Station, and Mexico. Sweet Paris has 11 locations and plans to keep expanding. Typical locations are usually 2,000-2,500 sq. ft. with a patio that is over 300 sq. ft. The ideal franchisee is committed to operating at least two locations and has at least five years of management experience.
The Crepe Delicious franchise is on a mission to be the go-to place for people who want to eat healthy on the go. Its first location opened in 2004 and was founded by Chef Oded Yefet, who franchised it a year later. He was determined to find another profitable and delicious addition to the North American quick-service restaurant industry. After traveling to Paris, Yefet saw a similarity to how vendors served crepes to the way hot dogs are presented in North America. Crepe Delicious is a mostly mall-based creperie, but franchisees can also open locations in strip malls and premium street locations. In addition to crepes, Crepe Delicious offers panini sandwiches, salads, and gelato, which comes in lactose-free and sugar-free options. Crepe Delicious gives back by partnering with Breakfast for Learning, a non-profit organization that works to ensure that every child attends school well-nourished.
The Crepe Company
The Crepe Company is a mobile franchise opportunity based in Florida. It was founded in 2009 and is inspired by the street vendors of Paris. The Crepe Company has a menu full of breakfast, entree, and sweet crepes. Customers appreciate that the crepes are made-to-order right in front of them. Franchisees benefit from low start-up costs, training and support, high profit margins, low overhead and easy food preparation with minimal waste. Franchise owners can offer catering services for corporate events such as lunches, meetings, trade shows, and more. Options include a crepe station, cart, or food truck.
Coco Crêpes, Waffles & Coffee
Coco Crêpes, Waffles & Coffee is a leading crepe franchise in Houston. In addition to crepes, Coco’s menu includes omelets, soups, salads, paninis, waffles, pancakes, ice creams, smoothies, and more. Franchisees enjoy a low-waste, affordable business with a simple model and the flexibility to own a half-service or full-service operation. A full Coco cafe concept typically ranges between 1,800 to 3,000 sq. ft, which can be found at strip malls or corner positions at malls. Kiosks typically have 35 seats or more. Smaller kiosks or mobile units can complement these two larger concepts for catering purposes. Coco is franchised by Bella Restaurants Group.
Eight Turn Crepe
While crepes may be an invention of the French, other countries have put their own twist on it. Eight Turn Crepe is different from the average creperie because it serves made-to-order crepes rolled in a Japanese-style cone. Customers enjoy Eight Turn’s gluten-free batter crepes that are filled with fresh ingredients and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Franchises have multiple revenue streams including take out, delivery and pop-ups. In addition to shopping districts, Eight Turn does well at theme parks, resorts, college campuses, airports, and more. Franchise owners enjoy the flexibility that comes with absentee ownership. Eight Turn works with E-2 Visa Holders, and has international opportunities, as well as multi-unit and area development agreements available in Canada.
Sofi’s Crepes was founded by stockbroker-turned-entrepreneur Ann Costlow who named the restaurant after her loyal pup. Costlow was inspired to start her own business when she grew tired of the 9-5 grind. After taking a leave of absence, she worked as a galley cook and fell in love with the food business. She also spent time in France, where she acquired a taste for crepes and decided to bring them to her home state of Maryland. Franchisees with Sofi’s benefit from reasonable operating hours. Customers can’t get enough of the crepe franchise’s menu of sweet and savory crepes. Sofi’s savory crepes include The Kevin Bacon, which consists of turkey, bacon, cheese, and tomatoes with thousand island sauce. On the sweet side is The Bananarama, a crepe filled with banana, granola, honey, and peanut butter.
Café Crêpe was inspired by authentic Parisian crêpe recipes. In addition to crepes, its menu includes soups, salads, baguettes, specialty coffee, and sides. Café Crêpe is expanding throughout Asia and North America. Its mission is to use local ingredients and provide customers with an authentic, relaxing café experience. Ideal franchisee candidates should be aligned with the company’s core values of passion, respect, and integrity.