A write-up that I recently read about Panera Bread’s expansion plans gave me hope in this troubling economy (see: “Panera Looks to New Venues in Expansion,” Reuters, 3/19/09). A national bakery chain with a well-developed brand name, top quality ingredients, convenient and competitive food offerings, and lots of room for growth, https://locationsnearmenow.net/taco-bell-breakfast-hours/ has created an equation that will help guarantee solid returns for a long time. Panera currently has 1,250 locations with wants to open an additional 80-90 locations this season, a rise of around 7% of its current locations. In California, Panera has just 80 locations, so there are considerable opportunities within that state alone. Since becoming wholly independent from Au Bon Pain Co. in 1999, Panera’s stock has grown thirteen fold, and in 2006, was recognized as the top performer within the restaurant category for one-, five- and ten-year returns to shareholders, so it’s success is nothing sudden – it has been growing slowly and steadily.
Personally, I love Panera. The bread is freshly baked, the menu offerings are well-thought out, the atmosphere is inviting and warm, as well as the cost is reasonable…and, Personally, i can’t consider a fast casual cafe chain which comes even close to winning vs. Panera on any one of those dimensions. Au Bon Pain was made on the same premise that brought Panera success – hospitality, quality, fresh baked goods – but it is, for me, a pale comparison. Take as an example, hospitality – in Panera Bread Breakfast, you are given a beeper while waiting for your food, so there is not any confusion as soon as your food is prepared and even, someone behind the counter will fall out of their method to bring your food for your table. The food is served on actual plates with real silverware and the seating includes comfortable booths and cozy armchairs. In Au Bon Pain, the silverware is plastic, the chairs are stiff and also you must bring the food in your table yourself and the order process involves a less personal approach of submitting a form and handing the form to the order taker. When it comes to quality and freshness, Panera also wins hands-down. The bread is served right out of the oven and they sell their baguettes to adopt home, something which Au Bon Pain either fails to do or will not effectively communicate that it does.
All of us know just how a hot sandwich can reveal the ingredients’ flavors – Panera knows this and provides paninis – a design of grilling sandwiches that has been quite popular. At Au Bon Pain, as opposed to paninis, it provides ‘hot sandwiches’, that are sandwiches which are continuously kept warm under a heat lamp. If you’ve ever endured food that is kept warm this way, you’ll know it just doesn’t taste great or very fresh. For a place that promotes the standard and freshness of their breads, Au Bon Pain simply qxuhyp not do nearly as good employment executing. Finally, as far as I can tell, Panera also wins on value. At Panera Bread Customer Service Phone Number, your order of the sandwich automatically features a bag of chips as well as a pickle thrown in and they also smartly provide a half-sandwich and soup or salad combination, attractive to health-conscious customers. At Au Bon Pain, almost every ingredient is line-itemed and also you certainly don’t obtain the pickle…leading to a tab which is typically$1-$2 more. So, what went wrong with Au Bon Pain? In 1999, it went public then got shuffled around to various private equity groups. It certainly hasn’t changed much over time and hasn’t attempted to improve its offerings relative to Panera’s.
Perhaps, owing to its success over time and a lack of a serious competitor, it hasn’t had to. But, let’s get real – in a health-conscious, quality, value driven economy like the one which we live in – where can you rather opt for lunch?