Lagardère Travel Retail announces the creation of a bespoke, hyper-localized restaurant concept, designed to meet the needs of travelers in West Africa and to embody the richness of local cultures and food traditions.
After a first opening in Nouakchott International Airport (Mauritania) in December last year, a new restaurant is inaugurated at Yéba South, a motorway rest and service area on the “Autoroute de l’Avenir” in Senegal.
Lagardère Travel Retail teams in West Africa have worked closely with the central Foodservice teams to develop “Képar Café”, a unique restaurant concept embodying the uniqueness of the African culture and traditions, from the design up to the menu offerings. Launched in both Mauritania and Senegal, “Képar Café” means “resting in the shades”. This calls to a long-standing travel tradition in Sahel of seeking shades to protect one from the sunlight and represents the concept’s ambition to offer travelers a break, an out-of-time moment on their journey.
The concept has been developed to call upon the talents of local communities: menus have been developed by local chefs, the design and furniture of the restaurants have been created and manufactured by local craftsmen, and the majority of the staff has been hired among the local community around Yéba’s Village. In the Képar Café, 50% of staff live in the community neighboring the restaurant and represent a 50-50 gender balance. The wood used to manufacture the furniture has been sourced locally, in authorized forests. The hyper-localization of the concept has been chosen so value creation goes back to the communities and talents who have been so instrumental to realize the project.
In Yéba, the Képar Café offers a broad selection of Senegalese dishes in self-service or ‘à la carte’ in the seating area of the restaurant. In addition to these, travelers can enjoy a grab&go offer of sandwiches salads, pastries, hot drinks and cold beverages. The menus have been developed to use a majority of foods produced locally: vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and rice.
Yéba rest and service area is located on the ‘Autoroute de l’Avenir, a 56-kilometer motorway from Dakar to Blaise Diagne international airport which has developed as part of the country’s broader efforts to ease mobility in and out the capital city. It is expected to see 2,5 million vehicles passing every year.
The Képar Café in Mauritania and Senegal have embraced slightly different designs, to best represent the culture of the country they are based in. In Yéba for example, the ochre color has been chosen to recall of the ochre soil of Senegal.
Commenting on this announcement, Sountou Bousso, CEO, Lagardère Travel Retail West Africa, said: “Képar Café is a truly West African concept, designed to not only meet the needs of local and regional travellers but also to bring together what our local cultures and know-hows have best to offer. We’re committed to operate responsibly and wanted to create unique restaurant concepts which ultimately benefit the local communities. I’m very confident Képar will establish itself as a recognized food hotspot, and a value-based concept that is as unique as the local cultures it showcases.”
Yéba’s Képar Café is being officially inaugurated on 17 May, with the attendance of several Senegalese government officials, local food influencers, media and local and central teams of Lagardère Travel Retail.
Building on initial successes in Mauritania and Senegal, Lagardère Travel Retail plans to further roll-out the Képar Café concept in other West African travel locations.