Panera Bread Wednesday launched the next phase of its COVID-19 response. And the result is something the nearly 2,200-unit restaurant chain has never attempted before.
CEO Niren Chaudhary said, in an effort to “provide better access to essential items that are increasingly harder to come by,” the fast casual introduced “Panera Grocery,” alongside its standard offerings at participating stores nationwide.
While other restaurant brands have taken this route, from Frisch’s to FUSIAN in Ohio, nobody’s quite brought it to market at this scale. Panera is also backing the service with a robust technology suite not unlike what it typically offers.
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Panera Grocery is live on the chain’s app and website, and is available for contactless delivery, Rapid Pick-Up, new “Drive Up,” and drive thru, as well as via contact-free delivery powered by Grubhub.
“From limited choices on grocery shelves to the growing need to limit the number of trips outside of the home, it is an incredibly stressful time when it comes to putting wholesome food on the table, and we knew Panera could help,” Chaudhary said in a statement.
Customers will see an option for “Panera Grocery,” pop up when they open the app or website. “Panera Grocery,” items will list on Grubhub so people can tack on essential items, like milk, bread, and fresh produce, to their food orders from whatever restaurant they choose. A night’s meal from a local spot, a few home items from Panera Grocery.
Panera also connected its Panera Grocery items to its MyPanera platform. Orders there will serve as a visit toward future rewards.