Panera Bread Co. (Nasdaq: PNRA) announced today agreements with two new franchisees to develop a total of 52 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in 4 states. Donald Strang III agreed to open 48 bakery-cafes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Earl Taylor signed a contract to open 4 bakery-cafes in Florida. Both franchisees are scheduled to open their first bakery-cafes by the end of 2001.
“We continue our successful expansion by adding two quality franchisees to the Panera Bread team,” said Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and chief executive officer. “We are excited to have Donald and Earl enter new, attractive markets, and I am confident that they will have the capability to both develop their markets and deliver for our customers. As of Oct. 31, 2000, as previously reported, Panera Bread had franchise commitments for the development of an additional 490 bakery-cafes in place. With the addition of these two developers, we now have franchise commitments to develop 542 bakery- cafes.”
Strang’s territories include metropolitan Philadelphia, central New Jersey, and the state of Delaware. Strang and his father, Donald Strang Jr., have vast experience in the restaurant industry. Their Cleveland-based hospitality company, The Strang Corporation, has developed more than 70 restaurants in the past 15 years. The company operates 57 Applebee’s restaurants, three company-owned fine-dining restaurants, and three hotel properties. The younger Strang is president and chief executive officer of the corporation. He also serves as chairman of the Applebee’s International Franchise Business Council.
“The Strang family is very enthusiastic about becoming a franchisee of Panera Bread,” said Strang III.
Taylor’s markets in Florida include Sarasota and Manatee counties. Taylor formerly owned a CBS affiliate TV station in Knoxville, TN.