In February, Bruegger’s will launch a new lunch menu featuring chef-created hot paninis and signature sandwiches made with a new selection of freshly baked breads. Citing consumer demand for affordable, fast-casual dining options, the menu is an integral component of the company’s strategic growth plan. On the heels of its fourth quarter earnings report, which showed 19 consecutive quarters of increased revenue, Bruegger’s plans to include the new sandwiches at all of its 288 locations nationwide in the second quarter of 2009.

“For 26 years, we’ve built our reputation on making great bagels,” says Bruegger’s CEO Jim Greco. “With the new menu, we’re taking our expertise and extending it to baking bread. We continue to stay true to our loyal guests, but will offer more variety, including some of the best hot and cold sandwiches around.”

Bruegger’s began testing the expanded menu last fall in Minneapolis, a key market for the company. Following extremely positive customer feedback, the menu is now featured in nearly 50 corporate-owned bakeries. The new sandwiches will reach most of the remaining bakeries by March.

“There are more restaurant choices today than there were 25 years ago,” says Bruegger’s Vice President of Marketing Paula Doyle. “The new sandwich menu allows us to offer our guests more choices at prices they can afford, along with friendly service in their neighborhood bakery.”

At the cornerstone of Bruegger’s new menu are hot paninis. Executive Chef Philip Smith has created several wholesome offerings including a classic Tuna & Cheddar Melt on freshly-baked honey wheat bread, the Primo Pesto Chicken and the Turkey Toscana, a combination of turkey, provolone, and peppers on hearty white bread topped with a sun dried tomato mayonnaise. New sandwiches include a signature Tarragon Chicken Salad and the Roma Roast Beef, along with several classic bagel sandwiches such as the Herby Turkey. Guests can also build their own hot or cold sandwiches choosing from their favorite ingredients.

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