Panera is preparing to permanently close a dough-making facility in Chandler, Arizona, which will result in 64 layoffs.

The plant is scheduled to close on August 15, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. Kathy-Jo Payette, the sandwich company’s senior vice president and chief people officer, said 16 employees will be let go on August 12 and another 48 will be laid off on August 15.

Earlier this year, Panera shuttered a facility in Houston that resulted in 84 layoffs.

The facility closures coincide with Panera’s biggest menu overhaul in company history. The chain introduced over 20 updates to core offerings under soups, salads, sandwiches, and mac and cheese, and launched enhanced flavors, larger protein portions, and lower price points, with items like the Tomato Basil BLT, Ranch Cobb Salad, and Mediterranean Greens with Grains all priced under $10. Classic items such as the Bravo Club Sandwich and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad received recipe improvements. Alicia Mowder, SVP of product strategy and insights, emphasized the updates are based on guest feedback to highlight what customers love about Panera.

The fast casual confidentially filed to go public last year. The chain wants to trade publicly as part of Panera Brands, which also features Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels. The group was formed in August 2021. A few months afterward, Panera Brands announced plans to go public via a merger with Danny Meyer’s special purpose acquisition company. However, the strategy failed due to unfavorable capital market conditions. In May 2023, the restaurants rekindled their desire to go public, this time through an IPO. Jose Alberto Dueñas, formerly at the helm of Einstein Bros, took over the CEO position. Subsequently, in September, Panera disclosed that Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield would assume the chairman’s role in January. Patrick Grismer, who served as Starbucks’ CFO for nine years, joined the board in 2022 and was appointed as the lead independent director.

Additionally, in late 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported Panera cut 17 percent of its corporate staff, or about 300 employees. This particular move was meant to streamline operations.

Each restaurant concept is owned by JAB Holding, which purchased Panera for $7.5 billion in 2017 and took it private for the first time. Caribou was acquired for $340 million in 2012, and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group was bought for $374 million in 2014. 

Employee Management, Sandwiches, Story, Panera