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 business operates as Saint Louis Bread Company in Greater St. Louis, where it has over 100 locations. Offerings include bakery items, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, and specialty drinks.
The company, which also owns Au Bon Pain, is owned by JAB Holding Company, that is in turn properties of the Reimann family of Germany. Panera offers a wide array of pastries and baked goods, such as bagels, brownies, cookies, croissants, muffins, and scones. These, in addition to Panera’s artisan breads, are typically baked before dawn by an on-staff baker. Besides the bakery section, Panera Bread menu features a regular menu for dine-in or takeout including: flatbreads, panini, Panera Kids, pastas, salads, sandwiches, side choices, and soups, along with coffee, espresso drinks, frozen drinks, fruit smoothies, hot cocoa, iced drinks, lattes, lemonade, and tea.
During its final twenty years being a public company, from 1997 to 2017, it was the very best performing restaurant stock, delivering an 86-fold return to shareholders. Panera was once the biggest provider of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the usa. Many locations restrict the length of free Wi-Fi to 30 or 1 hour during peak hours. In 1987, Ken and Linda Rosenthal founded The St. Louis Bread Company with all the first location in Kirkwood, Missouri. The Rosenthals invested $150,000 and received a $150,000 Small Business Administration loan.
In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co., a public company, purchased the St. Louis Bread Company for $23 million. In 1997, Au Bon Pain changed the organization name to Panera, through the Spanish language word panera, meaning “granary” or “breadbasket”. Simultaneously, the St. Louis Bread Company renovated its 20 bakery-cafés in the St. Louis area.
In May 1999, Au Bon Pain Co. sold Au Bon Pain to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. for $78 million, in order to focus on the Panera Bread chain. In 2000, Panera Bread moved its headquarters to Richmond Heights, Missouri. In 2007, Panera Bread obtained a 51% stake in Paradise Bakery & Café, a Phoenix metropolitan area-based concept with over 70 locations in 10 states, predominantly within the west and southwest, for $21.1 million. The organization purchased the balance of Paradise in June 2009.
In February 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed from the company alleging it did not disclose material adverse facts about the company’s financial well-being, business relationships, and prospects. In February 2011, Panera decided to pay $5.75 million to shareholders while admitting no wrongdoing, settling the lawsuit. In October 2008, Panera Bread expanded into Canada, opening locations in Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Oakville, and Mississauga inside the Greater Toronto Area.
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.”, several integrated technologies including new capabilities for digital ordering, payment, operations, and ultimately, consumption. It contains tablet kiosks with iPads, in which the company calls Fast Lane, where customers may place an order and pay without approaching the counter. Customers can also place orders and pay by using an app on their own smartphone or tablet. In 2017, digital orders taken into account over $1 billion in orders, or 26% of sales.
In June 2014, Panera unveiled its official Food Policy which detailed commitments to wash ingredients, transparency and a positive impact on the food system..This policy outlines the company’s values and sets a cbnjac for continuous improvement. Panera also produced a persistence for remove artificial additives (colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives) on its “No No List” through the food in its US bakery-cafes in the end of 2016.
On March 23, 2016, Panera opened its 2,000th location, a cafe in Elyria, Ohio. In September 2015, many Paradise Bakery & Café locations were rebranded as Panera Bread. In January 2017, Panera announced its food menu was free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. On July 18, 2017, JAB Holding Company acquired the business for $7.16 billion.
On November 8, 2017, Panera announced that founder Ron Shaich was stepping down as CEO, and company president Blaine Hurst would take control. Shaich remained chairman. The organization also announced the acquisition of Au Bon Pain. In January 2018, the business formed a consulting business to assist restaurants remove artificial ingredients using their menus.
On April 2, 2018, Brian Krebs reported that this Panera Bread menu had leaked between 7 million and 37 million customer records – including names, email and physical addresses, customer loyalty account numbers, birthdays, as well as the last four digits from the customers’ credit card numbers – for about eight months prior to the site was taken offline. Panera was notified privately about the vulnerability in August 2017 but did not fix it until after it was disclosed publicly eight months later. Panera said the leak affected less than 10,000 customers and had been fixed. In May 2018, the company introduced delivery services to 897 cities in 43 states, employing their own drivers. In accordance with the company, this created 13,000 jobs