Panera Bread Company aspires to elevate the lives of its guests and associates while also making a difference in the communities it serves. Panera unveils a new initiative that for the first time articulates this purpose-driven philosophy.
Quick-serve menus may start taking cues from the science lab as operators increasingly experiment with high-tech cooking methods like molecular gastronomy.
Molecular gastronomy, which blends technical food science and practical kitchen techniques, has been offered on exclusive fine-dining menus for more than two decades. Now, however, those scientific cooking methods are slowly making their way into the more accessible fast-casual and quick-service arenas.
The Panera Bread Foundation opened its fifth nonprofit community café, called Panera Cares, in Boston. The cafe opening comes on the heels of four successful community café launches in St. Louis, Detroit, Portland, and Chicago over the past three years.
Panera Cares is a new kind of café, one that exemplifies an entirely different way of giving back. It is a nonprofit community café of shared responsibility. The goals of this charitable program are to help ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one and to raise the level of awareness about food insecurity in the country.
Our athletes went to the Olympics, our science went to Mars, and our people went to the polls. But what of the restaurant industry in 2012? These dozen items from the year had the biggest impact on the foodservice landscape and shaped the industry for a potentially game-changing 2013.
An Economy in Flux
The economic recovery isn’t lighting a fire under anyone’s feet, but the economy did at least improve, albeit slightly.
Panera Bread is at the top of the list of favorite sandwich chains, according to a national study from Market Force, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions. Panera was voted America’s No. 1 sandwich chain in a restaurant industry survey of more than 7,600 consumers. Jason’s Deli and McAlister’s Deli were ranked second and third, followed by Firehouse Subs, Quiznos, Jimmy John’s, and Subway.
Fast-casual chains strengthened their gains on the overall restaurant industry, with the top 150 fast-casual chains growing 8.4 percent to $21.5 billion in 2011, a faster rate than in 2010 (6.6 percent). In comparison, 2011 sales growth for the Top 500 U.S. chains was 3.5 percent.
Panera Bread announces Panera's Top Teachers video contest. Students are encouraged to submit nominations for outstanding teachers at PaneraTopTeachers.com from April 6 – May 1.
Winners will be announced during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, 2012. Panera's Top Teachers aims to support local schools, as part of Panera Bread's dedication to supporting local communities.
Panera Bread Company has announced that Founder and Executive Chairman, Ron Shaich, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Moreton, will become co-CEOs, effective immediately.
Read QSR's exclusive interview with Moreton here.
This week, QSR got an exclusive media tour of the first Panera Bread to open in Manhattan.
The new location opened Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 330 Seventh Avenue at 29th Street.
The Manhattan store marks a milestone for the fast casual brand, bringing its total store count to 1,500.