Panera Bread

2014’s Top Brand Stories

It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of 2014.

The Health Paradox

It’s the conundrum befuddling limited-service restaurant operators the world over: How do you answer consumer demand for healthier menu items when so many customers are scared away by health-food claims? How do you help fight off the nation’s obesity epidemic when the entire business is designed around tasty, indulgent menu options?

Panera Gets High Tech

Panera Bread took a step into the future with the rollout of $42 million worth of ordering technology, dubbed “Panera 2.0.” The chain expects to better its customer experience inside and out with iPad ordering kiosks, mobile and online ordering interfaces, and a feature that lets guests order at the table.

These improvements could speed up the ordering process and cut labor costs, says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of research and consulting firm Technomic Inc.

The Alternative to New Products

Q: We're committed to offering a streamlined menu, so we don't want to introduce a bunch of new products. What other options do we have for creating news to promote our business?

A: Great question, especially in light of recent reports that suggest the quick-serve category has become so saturated with new products that brands are reaching the point of diminishing returns.

Panera Focuses on Heart Health this February

Panera Bread and Cleveland Clinic are teaming up this February in honor of American Heart Month. Starting on February 1, the 40 Northeast Ohio Panera Bread cafes are offering free coffee refills through the remainder of the month with the purchase of a $10 travel mug. A portion of the proceeds from these mug sales will benefit heart care at Cleveland Clinic.

 

What Burger Brands Can Learn from Sandwiches

2013 Quick Service Restaurant Benchmark Study Empathica Inc.

The burger segment could learn a thing or two from its more malleable brother, the sandwich. Despite the surge of better-burger companies, consumers are not as satisfied with burger brands as they are sandwich concepts, according to a quick-service restaurant benchmark study from Empathica Inc., a Mindshare Technologies company.

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