The bakery does seem like a logical place to start looking for a sandwich. CBC Restaurant Corp. operates and franchises more than 115 quick-casual eateries under the name Corner Bakery Cafe. Located in a dozen metropolitan markets around the country, mostly around Chicago and Southern California, the restaurants offer a menu of sandwiches and soups, along with pasta dishes and a large variety of dessert items. The chain offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and most locations offer catering services. The first Corner Bakery Cafe was opened in 1991. CBC Restaurant Corp. is owned by Il Fornaio (America), an operator of upscale Italian restaurants.
The company is focused on expanding its Corner Bakery Cafe chain through an aggressive franchising effort. It is hoping to capitalize on the increasing popularity of fast-casual dining. CBC Restaurant Corp. faces stiff competition within the bakery cafe segment, however, against leaders such as Panera Bread and Au Bon Pain.
Il Fornaio acquired Corner Baker Cafe from Brinker International for about $65 million in 2006. The concept was originally developed by Chicago restaurateur Richard Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises). – less