The FINANCIAL -- Artisan bakery chain Entrée is opening its seventh branch, at #17 Leselidze St later this month, which is expected to increase the chain’s overall number of customers by 25 percent.
Spread over a 350 sq.m area and serving more than 80 people at the same time, the Leselidze branch will be the largest Entrée in Georgia. The investment portfolio for the new Entrée consists of USD 800,000. The company is adding a new assortment of French and Italian dishes of a very high culinary level to its menu.
“The new Entrée will be a synthesis of the existing menu plus an Italian corner, where, for the first time in Georgia, fresh pasta will be available,” Jean Michel Charles, co-founder and partner at Entrée, told The FINANCIAL. “There will be about seven varieties of pizza and pasta sold at the Leselidze Entrée, which will later be available at the other Entrée chains as well. We have invited in a ‘pizzaiolo’, a person who makes fresh pasta and pizza, from Italy specially for the Leselidze Entrée. Besides the Leselidze branch, Entrée is going to be offering other different delicacies as well, such as varieties of exquisite cheese and meat assortment from French and Italian Province. There will be mixed Italian and French cuisine, including hot dishes as well,” he added.
The Leselidze Entrée will employ about 30 people.
Promoting and offering fresh and healthy food is one of the goals of Entrée. The Entrée team do believe that fresh pasta and pizza, which are being offered for the first time in Georgia, may become some of the biggest attractions for their Georgian customers.
“More tender and lighter in texture than its dried counterpart, fresh pasta is traditionally tossed with sauces that include cream and butter. Rolling and cutting out the dough may be accomplished by hand or with a pasta machine. Fresh pasta can be cut into various-shaped noodles, such as spaghetti or fettuccine, ready to be cooked and tossed with a sauce. Or use the pasta sheets to create filled pastas, such as ravioli. A sheet of fresh pasta can become a canvas for a wide range of shapes and flavourful fillings,” said Charles.
It is not only the menu, but also the environment which will be created in the Leselidze Entrée, that will once again remind customers that Entrée places an accent on healthy food. “The Leselidze Entrée will have interior and a patio of a very distinguished design using natural wooden textures. Using such elements in the design underlines the sense that Entrée is fresh and natural. There will also be a beautiful veranda where people can also enjoy Entrée food. In addition, there will be an ice-cream corner where ice-cream will be made for the whole Entrée chain. People who wonder how Italian gelato is actually prepared can come to the Leselidze Entrée, watch the process and then enjoy tasting it,” Jean Michel Charles said.
Transparency is something that fosters trust in customers, believes the Entrée team, as they are creating a glass-walled kitchens in Entrée. “Customers see how the food is being prepared in Entrée through windows which shows every unit of the kitchen. They can also watch how their order is being prepared at the Italian corner. They will be able to see how clean and safe their food is in Entrée. Meeting European standards of sanitary norms is very important for Entrée. The key to Entrée’s success is that we perfectly managed to bring together the three main components: price, quality and taste of the food we serve,” Charles added.
The Leselidze Entrée will work from 8:00 am to 02:00 pm, while other branches of Entrée are only open till 22:00 pm. People can now try some alcoholic drinks as well. “Whereas before our customers could only take away French wines from Entrée chains, now in the Leselidze Entrée people will be able to taste different sorts of alcoholic drinks,” he said.
It is obvious that the Entrée brand has been created with careful thought and decision-making being applied to every detail, including its bakery products. Jean Michel Charles believes that it was the artisan bakery concept that brought about the success of Entrée.
“Artisan bread is best described by thinking about the person who makes the bread. An artisan baker is a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to bake a handcrafted loaf of bread. They know how to provide the best environment for the bread to develop. I can draw parallels between a baker’s work and that of a jeweller, They both have a palette of preferred, trustworthy materials. They know how to combine their materials to build something strong and, at the same time, delicate or elegant. Combining the raw materials in different ways will create various shapes, textures or colours. The finished product is something to be proud of when so much thought and creativity has gone into it,” Charles said.
“It is just such an attitude that is the reason for the success of Entrée. We have been operating on the Georgian market for five years already. Entrée has a very honourable reputation and the number of our customers is constantly increasing,” he added.
Furthermore, artisan bakery chain Entrée, known as a “French island” among Georgians, is thinking of expanding abroad from May 2014 and becoming an international brand. The news about this expansion will be soon announced.
Entrée is a European-style bakery chain, born in Tbilisi in December 2008. The coffee bars of Entrée are an original concept with a solid image of a smoke and alcohol-free establishment for the whole family to enjoy due to its high international standards.
Entrée also has its own takeout packaging for all products including hot drinks, soups and salads which allow you to taste all of Entrée’s delicious and healthy products anywhere: at home, on the move, in the office as well as at a Entrée coffee bar itself.
“We are glad that Entrée has become such a part of contemporary Georgians’ lifestyle. Customers’ loyalty towards Entrée is very high. The seventh Entrée places an accent on tourists as well, as Leselidze is a very touristy zone. So the location is great for attracting different customers local and foreign. Entrée’s staff speaks good English and Russian, so all the tourists will feel comfortable and well-served when giving an order or communicating with our staff,” said Charles.
At present, Entrée is represented in the following areas: Rustaveli, Taktakishvili in Vake, Pekini, Petriashvili, Bagebi in Vake and Marjanishvili. To grow sustainably and organically abroad is the plan for 2014.
Artisan bakery chain Entrée increased sales by 22 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.