Panera Bread Company is an American chain store of bakery-café fast casual restaurants with over 2,000 locations, all of which are in the United States and Canada. Its headquarters are in Sunset Hills, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The company operates as Saint Louis Bread Company in Greater St. Louis, where it has over 100 locations. Offerings include soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches, specialty drinks, and bakery items.
|Founder||Ken Rosenthal |
Ronald M. Shaich
|Headquarters||Sunset Hills, Missouri|
Number of locations
|Ronald M. Shaich - founder and chairman|
Ken Rosenthal - founder of The St. Louis Bread Company
Blaine Hurst - CEO (2017–present)
Charles J. Chapman, III - executive VP and COO
Sue Morelli - president of Au Bon Pain
|Products||Fast casual/Bakery-café, including several varieties of bread, such as bagel and baguettes, cold sandwiches, hot panini, salads, soups, coffee and teas|
|Revenue||US$2.795 billion (2016)|
|US$145 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$1.301 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||US$288 million (2016)|
Number of employees
|Parent||JAB Holding Company|
|Subsidiaries||Paradise Bakery & Café|
Au Bon Pain
|Footnotes / references|
Panera offers a wide array of pastries and baked goods, such as croissants, bagels, cookies, scones, muffins and brownies. These, along with Panera's artisan breads, are typically baked before dawn by an on-staff baker. Aside from the bakery section, Panera has a regular menu for dine-in or takeout including: sandwiches, panini, pastas, soups, flatbreads, salads, side choices, Panera Kids, fruit smoothies, frozen drinks, iced drinks, coffee, tea, and lemonade, espresso drinks, lattes, and hot chocolate.
In 1987, The St. Louis Bread Company was founded by Ken & Linda Rosenthal with the first location in Kirkwood, Missouri. The Rosenthals invested $150,000 and received a $150,000 Small Business Administration loan.
In 1997, Au Bon Pain changed the company name to Panera, from the Spanish panera meaning "granary" or "breadbasket." At the same time, the St. Louis Bread Company renovated its 20 bakery-cafés in the St. Louis area.
In 2007, Panera Bread purchased a 51% stake in Paradise Bakery & Café, a Phoenix metropolitan area-based concept with over 70 locations in 10 states, predominantly in the west and southwest, for $21.1 million. The company purchased the balance of Paradise in June 2009.
In February 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company alleging it failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company's financial well-being, business relationships, and prospects. In February 2011, Panera agreed to pay $5.75 million to shareholders while admitting no wrongdoing, settling the lawsuit.
In November 2010, Panera Bread relocated its headquarters to Sunset Hills while vacating its Richmond Heights headquarters and Brentwood, Missouri offices. The company leased additional space for its headquarters in 2013.
In May 2014, Panera unveiled "Panera 2.0," a series of integrated technologies including new capabilities for digital ordering, payment, operations and, ultimately, consumption. It includes tablet kiosks with iPads, which the company calls Fast Lane, where customers may place an order and pay without approaching the counter. In addition to the kiosks, customers could also place orders and pay via an app on their smartphone or tablet. In 2017, digital orders accounted for over $1 billion in orders, or 26% of sales.
In June 2014, Panera unveiled its official Food Policy which detailed commitments to clean ingredients, transparency and a positive impact on the food system. This policy outlines the company's values and sets a course for continuous improvement. Panera also made a commitment to remove artificial additives (colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives) on its 'No No List' from the food in its US bakery-cafes by the end of 2016.
On November 8, 2017, Panera announced that founder Ron Shaich was stepping down as CEO, with company president Blaine Hurst to take over. Shaich remained chairman. The company also announced the acquisition of Au Bon Pain.
On April 2, 2018, Brian Krebs reported that the Panera Bread website had leaked between 7 million and 37 million customer records — including names, email and physical addresses, customer loyalty account numbers, birthdays and the last four digits of the customer’s credit card number — for at least eight months before the site was taken offline. Panera was notified privately about the vulnerability in August 2017, but failed to fix it until after it was disclosed publicly eight months later. Panera said that the leak affected fewer than 10,000 customers and had been fixed.
Panera Cares: non-profit restaurantsEdit
In 2010, the company's nonprofit foundation created Panera Cares, a "Pay what you can" restaurant in its home market of St. Louis. CEO Ron Shaich based the idea on an NBC profile of the SAME Cafein Denver, Colorado. It later expanded the concept to Dearborn, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; Chicago; and Boston. Each site served approximately 3,500 people every week. The Panera Cares in Chicago shut down at the end of January 2015. The Panera Cares in Portland, Oregon shut down at the end of June 2016. The original location near St. Louis closed in January 2018. The last location in Boston closed on February 15, 2019.
On November 5, 2015, Panera announced that it will use free-range eggs in all of its stores by 2020. Panera also announced the addition of more plant-based proteins, such as edamame and organic quinoa, to its menu. At the time of the announcement, the company said it was 21% cage-free in the roughly 70 million eggs it used in 2015. In December 2016, it published its third animal welfare progress report, announcing new efforts to improve broiler chicken welfare.
Peanut butter allergy lawsuitEdit
In 2016, a lawsuit was filed after an employee at a Natick, Massachusetts store put peanut butter on a sandwich, despite being informed that the person receiving the sandwich had a peanut allergy. The plaintiffs charged the company and those employees involved with intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress as well as assault and battery. The recipient of the sandwich was hospitalized briefly.
The Day-End Dough-Nation program provides unsold bread and baked goods to local area hunger relief agencies and charities. Panera Bread bakery-cafes donate $100 million worth of unsold bread and baked goods annually to local organizations in need. Panera also supports events held by nonprofit organizations serving those in need by donating a certificate or fresh bakery products.
As of 2016, Panera advertises that their menu is 100% clean of GMOs and artificial preservatives. With their menus continuing to grow, Panera offers counselling to other food services to have a more holistic approach when it comes to purging their menus of artificial ingredients and preservatives.
Tabler v. Panera LLC et alEdit
In a 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff Briana Tabler in California, accusing Panera of false advertisement and fraud. While former CEO Rob Schaic claimed that Panera's menus continue to be completely void of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and ingredients, Tabler argues against the company's intentional redaction of the fact that their products contain traces of the synthetic biocide glyphosate.
Violation of California Labor CodeEdit
In 2009 and 2011, class action lawsuits were filed by former workers alleging that the company violated the California Labor Code, failed to pay overtime, failed to provide meal and rest periods, failed to pay employees upon termination, and violated California's Unfair Competition Law. Panera paid $5 million to settle all claims and denied any wrongdoing.
2011 racial discrimination lawsuitEdit
In 2011, a former employee filed a racial discrimination lawsuit alleging that he was eventually fired after repeatedly having a black man work the cash register instead of putting him in a less visible location and having "pretty young girls" be the cashiers, as requested by supervisors. The plaintiff also said he was fired after requesting another month off after returning from 3 months of sick leave. Panera said it "does not discriminate based on national origin, race or sex," and that the plaintiff "was terminated because he had used all of his medical leave and was unable to return to work." The plaintiff worked in a store owned by franchisee Sam Covelli, who also owns the stores that were involved in the 2003 racial discrimination lawsuit. Covelli Enterprises is the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread with nearly 300 stores in northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Florida. The lawsuit was settled in June 2012.
2017 class action for failure to pay overtime wagesEdit
Awards and recognitionEdit
- "Management biographies". Panera Bread.
- Kowitt, Beth (November 10, 2017). "Why Panera's CEO Stepped Down". Fortune.
- "Panera Bread Company 2016 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
- "Panera tests $16.99 lobster sandwich". American City Business Journals. August 18, 2009.
- Jargon, Julie (November 8, 2017). "Panera Bread Founder Ron Shaich to Step Down as CEO". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Your Favorite Summer Salad is Back at Panera Bread". Taste of Home. May 18, 2018.
- "Turkey and Cranberry: A Classic Combination". Panera Bread.
- "Our History". Panera Bread.
- "5 Things You Didn't Know About the Panera Bread Chain". The Huffington Post. April 29, 2014.
- Anderson, Nate (July 10, 2006). "Free WiFi spawns café backlash". Ars Technica.
- "Panera's Rosenthal cashes in". American City Business Journals. January 3, 2010.(subscription required)
- DEAGON, BRIAN (January 25, 2010). "Panera's Ron Shaich Really Rolls In The Dough" (PDF). Investor's Business Daily.
- "AU BON PAIN TO ACQUIRE SAINT LOUIS BREAD COMPANY". New York Times. Associated Press. November 12, 1993.(subscription required)
- Kowitt, Beth (July 17, 2012). "A founder's bold gamble on Panera". Fortune.
- Goodison, Donna L. (December 4, 2000). "Au Bon Pain acquisition may be near". American City Business Journals.
- Berman, Laura (November 11, 2017). "Panera Bread, Au Bon Pain to Reunite for First Time Since 1998". TheStreet.com.
- Brown, Lisa R. (January 24, 2010). "Panera Bread finalizing headquarters search". American City Business Journals.
- "Panera to buy majority interest in Southwest regional chain". American City Business Journals. November 13, 2006.
- "Panera faces class-action lawsuit". American City Business Journals. February 27, 2008.
- Brown, Lisa R. (February 22, 2011). "Panera to pay $5.75 million to settle lawsuit". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Fenske, Sarah (February 24, 2011). "Panera Bread Settles Class Action Suit Alleging Stock Fraud". River Front Times.
- "Panera Bread® to Open in Richmond Hill" (Press release). Market Wired. October 1, 2008.
- Brown, Lisa R. (October 26, 2007). "Panera Bread headquarters in play". American City Business Journals.
- Volkmann, Kelsey (November 19, 2010). "Panera opens new headquarters in Sunset Hills". American City Business Journals.
- Solomont, E.B. (May 21, 2013). "Panera expands HQ in Sunset Hills". American City Business Journals.
- Horovitz, Bruce (April 2016). "Kiosks Keep Their Cool: Even in a smartphone era, touch-screen kiosks give brands a fun, efficient ordering innovation". QSR Magazine.
- Troxell, Nicole (February 6, 2015). "Is Panera 2.0 starting to pay off?". Fast Casual.
- Wong, Venessa (May 2, 2014). "More Kiosks, Fewer Cashiers Coming Soon to Panera". Bloomberg L.P.
- "Digital orders now account for 26 percent of Panera sales, company says". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 13, 2017.
- Taylor, Kate (June 14, 2017). "Panera avoided Starbucks' biggest mistake and reached a $1 billion milestone". Business Insider.
- "Panera Bread's Food Policy Statement" (PDF). Panera Bread. June 3, 2014.
- "The No No List" (PDF). Panera Bread. March 11, 2016.
- Bamforth, Emily (March 22, 2016). "Panera Bread's 2,000th store opening in Elyria (photo)". The Plain Dealer.
- Sunnucks, Mike (September 14, 2015). "More Paradise Bakery restaurants changing over to Panera Bread Co". American City Business Journals.
- Kell, John (January 13, 2017). "Panera Says Its Food Menu Is Now 100% 'Clean Eating'". Fortune.
- Whitten, Sarah (November 8, 2017). "Panera's Ron Shaich is stepping down as CEO, but first he's repurchasing Au Bon Pain". CNBC.
- "Panera Bread Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Au Bon Pain" (Press release). Globe Newswire. November 8, 2017.
- Harris, David L. (November 8, 2017). "Panera will buy Au Bon Pain to gain bigger slice of bakery-cafe market". American City Business Journals.
- Meyer, Zlati (November 8, 2017). "What's buzzing at Panera? It's buying Au Bon Pain and the CEO is resigning". USA Today.
- Mueller, Angela (January 29, 2018). "Panera launching 'clean' consulting business". American City Business Journals.
- Taylor, Kate (January 29, 2018). "Panera wants to help other brands clean up their menus — and it shows how the sandwich chain is doubling down on a key strategy in a new era". Business Insider.
- "Panerabread.com Leaks Millions of Customer Records". Brian Krebs. April 2, 2018.
- Mueller, Angela (April 3, 2018). "Panera hit by data breach: Report". American City Business Journals.
- Balu, Nivedita; Panchadar, Arjun (April 2, 2018). "Panera Bread's website leaks customer records: KrebsOnSecurity". Reuters.
- BRODKIN, JON (April 3, 2018). "Panera accused security researcher of "scam" when he reported a major flaw". Ars Technica.
- Taylor, Kate (May 8, 2018). "Panera almost killed its delivery test 4 years ago — now it's dominating the industry and rolling out across the US". Business Insider.
- Marino-Nachison, David (May 8, 2018). "Panera: Why It Isn't Using a Delivery Partner". Barron's.
- Perez, Sarah (May 8, 2018). "Panera launches nationwide food delivery service". TechCrunch.
- Mikus, Kim (May 8, 2018). "Panera Bread launches delivery in some suburbs". dailyherald.com. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
- Swidey, Neil (June 6, 2016). "Family of allergic child sues Panera for putting peanut butter in grilled cheese sandwich". The Boston Globe.(subscription required)
- Bowerman, Mary (June 6, 2016). "Family sues Panera over peanut butter in allergic daughter's sandwich". USA Today.
- "Panera Bread® Issues 2016 Responsibility Report" (Press release). Globe Newswire. June 29, 2017.
- "Community Giving". Panera Bread.
- Baertlein, Lisa (January 29, 2018). "Panera debuts service to help restaurants 'clean up' their menus". Business Insider. Reuters. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- Whitten, Sarah (January 13, 2017). "450 ingredients, 122 new recipes and Panera Bread hits its goal of ditching all food additives". CNBC. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- "Tabler v. Panera Compaint and Demand for Jury Trial" (PDF). Manatt. March 29, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- Volkmann, Kelsey (November 21, 2011). "Panera to pay $5 million settlement". American City Business Journals.
- Goldberg, Keith (November 21, 2011). "Panera To Pay $5M To Settle Calif. Wage Class Actions". Law360.(subscription required)
- Mirando, Kimberly (November 21, 2011). "Panera Bread Racial Discrimination Lawsuit". Top Class Actions.
- LUCAS, SUZANNE (November 9, 2011). "Why Panera should settle lawsuit charging racism". CBS News.
- "Fired Panera Bread Manager: They Wanted 'Pretty Young Girls". WTAE-TV. November 3, 2011.
- "Our locations". Covelli Enterprises.
- Walsh, Anna (December 5, 2011). "Panera Bread's racist, sexist practices warrant boycott". The Tartan.
- "About Us". Covelli Enterprises.
- "Former Panera Bread manager's racial retaliation case settled". WTAE-TV. June 6, 2012.
- Cooper, Rebecca (December 4, 2017). "Former D.C. Panera employee files class-action overtime suit". American City Business Journals.
- "St. Louis Firms Make BusinessWeek's Hot Growth List". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. September 1, 2005. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013 – via FindArticles.
- "Giving Quick Food A Run For Its Money". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. April 17, 2006. Archived from the original on May 13, 2006.
- Minkin, Tracy & Reaud, Brittani (February 12, 2009). "America's Healthiest". Health Magazine. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
- "The 2009 Zagat Survey". Zagat Survey. 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "2009 Awards & Recognition". Panera Bread. Archived from the original on July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-07.