Global restaurateur HMSHost announced July 25 an exclusive, multi-year, multi-unit development agreement with Panera Bread that will expand the fast casual chain’s presence within major U.S. airports and travel plazas. 

As part of the agreement, HMSHost will debut two new Panera airport locations, first at Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Concourse E, and soon to follow at Salt Lake City International Airport’s Concourse A in 2020. Additional airport and travel plaza locations are slated to open throughout 2020 and beyond.

READ MORE: Is Panera just beginning to reach its potential?

“At HMSHost, we’re leaders in expanding travelers’ dining options with the most in-demand, unmatched choices. With Panera Bread as our exclusive partner, we are transforming the fast casual category in airports and motorways across the United States,” says HMSHost president and CEO Steve Johnson. “Traveling consumers have been clamoring for Panera Bread to expand into airports and motorways. With this agreement, we are answering that demand for travelers seeking craveable, better-for-you food, delivered fast and efficiently.”

Travelers will enjoy Panera’s classic menu of freshly prepared salads, hand-crafted sandwiches, hearty soups, creamy mac and cheese, and bread bowls, as well as an array of breakfast offerings ranging from breakfast wraps to Panera’s  bakery items. The airport locations will also feature grab-and-go versions of many of Panera’s menu offerings. The menu will feature Panera’s signature You Pick Two where guests can combine certain menu items to craft their ideal meal. The menu also includes protein-rich, vegan and vegetarian items.

“We’re pleased to partner with HMSHost to bring Panera to airport and travel plaza locations across the U.S.,” says Dan Wegiel, Panera’s executive vice president, chief growth and strategy officer. “Panera is uniquely positioned to fill the void between quality and convenience for hungry travelers, offering the same better-for-you menu options they know and love from our traditional bakery-cafes, with all the speed they need while in transit. The HMSHost partnership expands consumers’ access to the brand, delivering on our vision to bring Panera closer to those who hunger for our food wherever, whenever and however they choose.”

In addition to Panera’s all-day menu of clean and flavorful food choice, the brand’s innovative digital kiosk ordering system, popular mobile app and Rapid Pick-Up feature make it an ideal solution for airport diners, the brand said.

Fast Casual, News, Panera Bread