What motivated the diversifying of Fauchon from its core business into hotels?
Fauchon has been a purveyor of French gastronomy since 1886 and thus a purveyor of culinary experiences. These experiences needed to be put under a roof to turn them into a long lasting universe, and while Fauchon is a newcomer to the hotel industry, it has long been present in hospitality through its many F&B concepts. The process of turning Fauchon into a lifestyle brand was eased by the fact that Mr. Michel Ducros, owner of Fauchon, had always dreamed of owning a hotel. When a property became available on the Place de la Madeleine, the birthplace of Fauchon, it was only natural for Fauchon to jump on the opportunity to create the ultimate immersive experience. Of course, it took an intensive 3 years of work before the hotel could open its doors to the public.
Luxury brands from different sectors have launched into hotels, with only some being able to reflect a coherent concept. What are your competitive advantages? What kind of locations are you looking for?
Many brands have created concepts around physical goods and décor. While aesthetics are important in any luxury hotel, Fauchon is also able to offer a proper gourmet experience and submerge guests into its own universe. Our unique selling points are summarized by the acronym G.L.A.M: G for Fauchon’s obvious gourmet culture, L for the unique and vibrant locations of our hotels, A, for the specially curated Artwork and Artisan, and M for Mesdames and our special attention towards women. In addition to offering a legitimate experience, Fauchon aims to implant its hotels in the most vibrant and unique locations of major cities. We want our guests to experience cities in luxurious but also authentic ways, which is not the case for many luxury hotels, frequently secluded from lively areas of cities. We plan on opening our hotels in both new built and renovated building, our priority in the latter case will be to maintain the building’s unique character.
Which is the expansion business model you are applying? Do you consider in partnering with an experience luxury hotel group?
We intend on opening around 10 Fauchon hotels across the world in the next 5 years. These hotels will be located in cosmopolitan capitals and cities on the rise in terms of culture and gastronomy. Our goals is to serve a mix of both local and foreign clientele as locals are key for our F&B various concepts. We hope to partner with investors or property owners sensitive to the Fauchon brand as well as a hotel operator (linked or unlinked to the property owner), capable of managing a 5-star boutique hotel such as a Fauchon L’Hôtel and with a reliable track record.
To what extent is Fauchon positioned as a luxury brand? What about the Fauchon Hotel brand?
Fauchon is a 132-year-old brand full of heritage and which embodies French culinary excellence. All aspects of elaboration, production and distribution are held to very high standards, meaning only the finest French products are used. We have replicated this excellence in our first hotel, creating very precise and detailed ritual for our guests, using only locally sourced art, and of course offering the best of French hospitality. A
dditionally, we are members of Leading Hotels of the World, a collection of the world’s most luxurious independent hotels . In terms of positioning, we aim to be in the top 20% of ADR of each city we are present in. However, while we absolutely position ourselves as a luxury hospitality group, it is important to note that we aim to make our gastronomy accessible under “casual fine dining”: a meal at our Grand Café Fauchon can range between 35 and 60€ per person.
Tell us more about the choice of the interior design style? Is this going to be replicated at future hotels?
The challenge of designing the first Fauchon L’Hôtel was to balance culinary references and a subtly elegant atmosphere. To do so we worked with the Architect Richard Martinet and the studio Atelier Paluel Marmont, as well as several French artists who inspired by the preexisting Fauchon universe. While Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris will definitely be a source of inspiration for our future hotels, we refuse to simply duplicate it across the world. We have established a set of aesthetic features which will be common to all of our hotels but our wish to adapt each hotel to local tradition and work with local artists, while also taking into account local demand.
What is the profile of guest you are targeting with Fauchon Hotels?
Fauchon has always been a brand of pleasure. Through our hotels we want to extend these pleasurable experiences and thus are aiming our offer to “discerning hedonists”: people who envoy indulging themselves in life’s pleasures, such as Fauchon’s gastronomy and patisserie, but are also able to judge what is worth their attention and time. In addition to this, we have focused a lot of our attention to pleasing the female clientele. While we have taken into account how every aspect of the hotel would be received by women, we also made sure for our hotel not to become a hotel for women but a hotel for all. In sum, our hotels are aimed at Gen X Men and Women, born between 1965 and 1979, with an asset of a minimum of 1.5M Dollars.
Besides aesthetics and facilities, a successful hotel concept is dependent on guest service – achieving but also maintaining a high standard.
To offer the most remarkable guest experience, we have established a chart of 30 in-room and F&B guest experiences. For instance, every guest is offered a complementary cocktail in our library while our staff finalizes their check-in. On top of our own standards, we also refer to Leading Hotels of the World’s strict standards to assure the most outstanding care.
Which are the key markets you believe your concept will be most successful?
Fauchon has been historically present in Europe, the Middle East and Japan. We will naturally implant ourselves where the Fauchon Brand has been present of decades but are also very interested in North America which is the primary market for luxury hospitality. Beyond these regions, we are also strongly considering other key cities in Asia.
What is the profile of a developer / investor in a Fauchon Hotel?
A definite factor for us is the willingness of our counterpart to develop a long-lasting business relationship. Of course, someone passionate about quality F&B is a must for Fauchon Hospitality as this is the very DNA behind the brand. Each Fauchon hotel should be different, while within a concept, so every investor should offer an added-value, not only in terms of finances but also vision. A Fauchon Hospitality investor should be free-minded, believe in the balance between hotel activity and F&B. Willingness to partner for potential Fauchon retail is also an important factor for us.
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