Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) today
reported system-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales increased
7.0% for the fourth quarter (5.9% in company-owned bakery-cafes
and 8.2% in franchised bakery-cafes). For the full year,
system-wide comparables sales were up 9.1% (8.1% in company-owned
bakery-cafes and 10.3% in franchised bakery-cafes). This
marks the 20th consecutive quarter that Panera Bread (on
a stand alone basis) has reported positive comparable company
bakery-cafe sales.

In the fourth quarter, 31 new Panera Bread bakery-cafes
were opened (3 company-owned bakery-cafes and 28 franchised
bakery-cafes). Total new bakery-cafe development activity
for fiscal year 2000 was 81 new bakery-cafes (11 company-owned
and 70 franchised bakery-cafes), which exceeded the system-
wide target of 70 bakery-cafes. In the fourth quarter, the
company closed two of the original Saint Louis Bread bakery-cafes
and replaced them with a new prototype bakery-cafe, which
is centrally located between the two closed locations. A
charge of approximately $200,000 associated with this closing
will be taken in the quarter. As of December 30, 2000, 260
Panera Bread bakery-cafes were operating in 28 states (90
company-owned and 170 franchised bakery-cafes). Additionally,
as of December 30, 2000, with the addition of the recently
announced new Area Developers, there were franchise commitments
in place for the development of an additional 561 bakery-cafes.

"In light of the severe weather in both our core Midwest
and Northeast markets we are very pleased with the comparable
bakery-cafe sales we produced, said Ron Shaich, chairman
and chief executive officer. "Also, we are pleased
that our new bakery-cafe development exceeded our targets,
which we believe speaks to the confidence of our franchise
community. Based on our comparable bakery-cafe sales in
the fourth quarter, we are able to reiterate our fourth
quarter earnings per share target of $0.16 despite the inclusion
of the $200,000 charge for store relocation. For fiscal
year 2001, we continue to target a 30% increase in earnings
per share (to $0.66), the development of 80 new bakery-cafes
(13 company-owned and 67 franchised bakery-cafes) and comparable
bakery-cafe sales increases of 3%-4%.”

The Company expects to release final fourth quarter and
year-end results on March 5, 2001.



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