Mac & Cheese is one of Panera Bread’s most popular items, with at least 3 million servings sold each month. On Thursday, Panera announced it’s making the perennial favorite even tastier with a new “Build Your Own Mac” experience. Guests who place orders online or via the Panera app can now craft their own cheesy creations with toppings ranging from fresh avocado, pico de gallo and bacon to BBQ sauce, frizzled onions, smoked pulled chicken and fresh cilantro. Panera has also added three new curated Mac & Cheese offerings to its national menu, including Baja, BBQ Chicken and Bacon Mac & Cheese.
“As we look to the future, we’re focused on giving individual guests the meal that is exactly right for them, so we’re constantly working on new ways to customize even our iconic favorites, like Mac & Cheese,” says Blaine Hurst, Panera’s chief executive officer and president. “We’re doubling down on one of our most popular categories to offer even more options for people to eat what they want, precisely how they want it.”
Guests ordering the new “Build Your Own Mac” option can select up to five toppings, including up to two premium toppings—smoked pulled chicken, bacon, or avocado – and three flavorful accompaniments, including pico de gallo, zesty BBQ sauce, frizzled onions and fresh cilantro. Along with orders placed digitally for delivery or to eat in-cafe, Panera Catering will also offer a “Build Your Own Mac Bar”—perfect for an office celebration or gathering with friends and family.
Panera Mac & Cheese is made with 100 percent clean ingredients, free from artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors and colors from artificial sources as listed on the company’s No No List.
“Our Mac & Cheese is so well loved, the idea of messing with a great thing was something we did not take lightly,” Tom Sadler, Panera’s VP of food & beverage product development, says. “But we also think food should be fun—so we got into the kitchen and carefully selected toppings that we knew would complement our Mac & Cheese and offer fresh, exciting flavors. The new ‘Build Your Own Mac’ option gives guests one more layer of personalization to craft the flavor that’s perfect for them.”
The new Mac & Cheese Bar will be available for digital ordering from bakery-cafes across the country, and via delivery through the Panera app and website at participating cafes in the 43 states nationwide where Panera offers delivery. Panera delivery is available for lunch and dinner to offices, hospitals, college campuses and to your door at home in participating markets. The service is entirely digital via the Panera app or website, and meets pent up consumer demand for clean options. Some restrictions apply.