What has happened to Panera's

They used to be pretty good, but since the pandemic their selection is a fraction of what it used to be, and their website sucks. I didn’t get to the grocery store yesterday and was out of bacon so I thought I’d order Panera. I got online at 7…one hour after the store opened. Every breakfast sandwich I tried to order showed as sold out. Thinking it might be my browser, I used a different browser and tried again. This time it let me, although I order a bacon egg and cheese on brioche, it looked like I would need to add another buck an a half for the cheese that is in the name. I didn’t check it but it let me order. Until I got to the checkout where it showed that the product was no longer available. I spend over half an hour jacking with their website trying to order. I finally gave up and went to Mickey D’s. Pitiful.

Was is it their app or a doordash app?

I don’t go there often but when I do, it feels very generic now.

Agreed, went there about a week ago for my daughter and wife.
They were out of about everything.

Did they get bought out?

Panera is a franchised operation. They don’t sell individual store franchises, though, they sell market area franchises. So, I suspect the Paneras in the KC area are all owned by the same person or group, and they may be having money issues.

Yes, about 1-2 years ago.

Panera was taken private in 2017 by a German holding company. Their new CEO has made statements about an intent to have an IPO of Panera. Maybe they are squeezing their franchisees to make the numbers look better.

What is strange is the quality varies great from region to region. St. Louis isn’t very good. Since the hq is here, you wouldn’t expect that.

Oregon was very good

Chicago eh

That is surprising because the company that morphed into Panera in the 1990s was a St. Louis company.

St. Louis bread co. Most the ones in St. Louis are still called that.

No. It was their site. My bike group rides to a Panera’s on Monday’s and Friday’s. Some of us are pushing to take the Friday ride somewhere else. During the Pandemic we changed both rides to a Corner Bakery, which was a lot better, but also “financially troubled”. so that store closed. There’s another one about 4 miles farther so we might go there. But we get there by 10. Zero cinnamon rolls. Zero brownies. Very few cookies. and the coffee is - lukewarm. They have a microwave that we could use to heat it, but the damn thing is on the bottom shelf - about 2 inches from the floor. Not conducive for old people wanting to warm anything up. And half and half is usually gone.

I used to go there for lunch all the time when I was working and they were one of the best places. In the winter I used to get their you pick two with an Italian Combo sandwich and potato soup. they don’t carry either anymore. And the selection (or lack thereof) is the same at the one we ride to as it is at the two that are closer to my house.

Often on door dash I will see they are out of everything. I never thought to check their site.

About once a month we order bagels.

Unless they changed it in the past month, they have their own site and not door dash. If it was, they should fire door dash because you can’t complete the order. I am not willing to pay to have food delivered. Those sites that use only door dash to order don’t get my business.

finds a mom and pop place and give them the business. The first time you go there you might wipe them out but if you tell them you’ll be back every Friday they can prepare

like here

We ride several places but Monday and Friday’s are "standard"r rides, usually for breakfast/coffee. Other days we will ride to several different places, all of them local One of our favorite places is a place that the owner works with kids who have aged out of the foster care system. The employees are all former foster kids, but along with a job, when it closes, they hold “life classes” - teaching the kids things like how to make a budget, how to rent an apartment and manage money and other things.

The owner loves us when we come because we usually have at least 20 riders, which creates a kind of “mini rush”. IT lets the kids practice with friendly faces how to handle a rush. Since we are retired, if a “regular” customer comes in, we send them to the front of the line so that they don’t have to wait. We give him a heads up when we are coming.

To top it off…the food is REALLY good.

Find local owned instead of Panera

NOt as easy as it sounds. We have to find a place that can accommodate all of us, and we ride for coffee. Your link is to a great place but it’s not a “coffee shop”. Pus, the link you gave is to a place that is not “bicycle friendly” to get to from where we start.

I just picked a good place on Yelp. You can also. I guarantee you when you find it they will love having 20 people at once a couple of times a week

Ohio on I-90 was good on the way to Chicago

Here in DC, meh

This reminds me that plenty of business people suffer retardation and myopia.

Fudging the numbers may give a temporary shot in the arm, but the downstream consequences of destroying your brand in the eyes of consumers will far outweigh that minimal benefit.

Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines took them “from worst to first”, and wrote a book by that name. He used a pizza analogy to talk about cost cutting to improve profitability - you can cut back on pepperoni or cheese and nobody will really be bothered that much, but if you cut too much, you don’t have a pizza anymore. For a bakery, Panera has virtually eliminated their baked goods.