Panera Bread

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.

Morning Comforts

Baked goods have been a staple in the quick-serve industry for decades, but innovation in the space has boomed as several operators step up their a.m. offerings to compete in that increasingly lucrative daypart.

Coffee concepts are a natural fit for baked goods. In addition to a morning cup of java, many customers anticipate a variety of baked breakfast items behind the bakery glass case, from syrupy sweet cinnamon rolls to savory crusted quiche.

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