Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) announced today two agreements with new franchisees to develop 30 bakery-cafes in southern California. These agreements come shortly after the company entered into two other agreements with franchisees to develop 31 stores in northwest and central Los Angeles.

Franchisee Paul Saber, who has 18 years of experience in franchise operations as a former franchisee and as a senior vice-president with McDonald’s Corporation, agreed to open 15 bakery-cafes in north San Diego. Ted and Sheri Hoover, both of whom are real estate development executives, signed an agreement to open 15 bakery-cafes in south Orange County. Both franchisees are scheduled to open their first bakery-cafes by the end of 2003.

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and chief executive officer said, “We continue to put agreements in place for the successful development of Southern California. The addition of Paul Saber and Ted and Sheri Hoover bring our franchise development commitments for Southern California to a total of 61 bakery-cafes. Paul, Ted and Sheri exemplify our intent to execute our growth strategy through franchisees who bring experience and knowledge of the market.”

Panera Bread owns and franchises 414 bakery-cafes in 31 states under the brands Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co.

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