Secrets Panera Bread Doesn’t Want You To Know
Panera Bread first opened its doors in 1987, and the chain took off at a rapid pace. More than three decades later, there are now over 2,000 bakery-cafes scattered across 46 U.S. states and Canada. What was once known as a tiny, 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has now become a leading brand, with billions of dollars in annual sales. The “healthier” fast-food giant has a loyal following of customers, with more than 28 million members a part of their MyPanera loyalty program. And according to Technomic , they were the largest fast-casual chain in the country as of 2018.
With free wifi, order kiosks, and a rapidly growing self-delivery system, Panera has found plenty of ways to continue to meet its customers’ demand and grow revenue when other chains find themselves with slipping sales. However, for the Missouri-based chain, it seems that sprinkled in the middle of a menu serving green passion smoothies, frozen lemonades, delicious coffee-based drinks, and assorted pastries, are a few secrets they’d rather keep to themselves. These are the secrets Panera Bread doesn’t want you to know.
If Panera Screws Up You Can Actually Choose A Sweet Reward
It’s been more than 30 years since Panera Bread opened its first location in Kirkwood, MO and even so Panera still stands by its pledge to “pay attention to the important things.” On its website, Panera says those important things are making sure customers have a great experience an experience that can’t happen if you head to the pick-up counter and find the wrong order.
Luckily, Panera has a way to rectify those mistakes, though they’re not very open about advertising this policy. If Panera messes up your order you are entitled to receive a free treat, and one customer of Panera can prove it. He posted a photo to Yelp about the free cookie he received after his order was messed up. A former Panera employee confirms to Spoon University that this is the standard, though it’s a pretty well-kept secret. In fact, there’s actually a sign at the order counter a small and usually hidden sign, but alas a sign, that states that if a customer’s order is wrong they can request a free treat.
The former employee says that treat is usually a chocolate chip cookie, but if a customer asks for a different kind of bakery good, they’ll most likely get their wish just one more part of this policy that Panera probably wishes you didn’t know.
How Much Does Instacart Delivery Or Pickup Cost
- Delivery fees start at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35. Fees vary for one-hour deliveries, club store deliveries, and deliveries under $35.
- Service fees vary and are subject to change based on factors like location and the number and types of items in your cart. Orders containing alcohol have a separate service fee.
- Tipping is optional but encouraged for delivery orders. It’s a great way to show your shopper appreciation and recognition for excellent service. 100% of your tip goes directly to the shopper who delivers your order.
- There may be a “pickup fee” on your pick up order that is typically $1.99 for non-Express members. Express membership waives this like it would a delivery fee.
- Pick up orders have no service fees, regardless of non-Express or Express membership.
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The Soup Is A Sodium Free For All At Panera Bread
One of the biggest menu sections at Panera Bread is the soup. The chain restaurant offers everything from chicken noodle soup to vegetable soups and so much more. But as tasty, warm, and comforting as a bowl of soup might sound, at Panera, they’re not exactly fresh or healthy.
One Reddit user explained something pretty bleak about the soup at Panera. “The soups come in frozen bags in boxes that say ‘Institution food’ on the side of the box,” they wrote. “We would throw them in a hot water cooker that would bring them up to temperature from freezing blocks to near boiling hot bags.” Um, yum? But that’s not all. A former Panera employee told My Recipes that their manager gave them an ominous piece of advice when it comes to the soup: “Never suggest soup to the elderly. The sodium is too high.” Yikes! If a manager says to avoid the soup, then you should probably avoid the soup.
What Happens If Panera Bread Coffee 100% Arabica Ground Light Roast Is Out Of Stock And I Need To Give Specific Instructions
- Find Best Match: By default, your shopper will use their best judgement to pick a replacement for your item.
- Pick Specific Replacement: You can pick a specific alternative for the shopper to purchase if your first choice is out-of-stock.
- Don’t Replace: For items you’d rather not replace, choose “Don’t replace” to get a refund if the item is out of stock.
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Why I Had High Hopes
I had high hopes for Panera Bread Dark Roast Coffee for a number of different reasons. The first reason for expecting a lot was because of the claims made by the company themselves. Now, I know that businesses are going to always rave about their products, so I was not expecting there to be a lot of negative remarks! However, with words like bold flavor how could I not get excited? Plus, this coffee is 100 percent clean with no artificial preservatives or anything of that nature, and so that is always a positive. Another reason why I was excited to try this particular blend of coffee is that there had been a lot of positive comments online. This added to the anticipation. However, my coffee hopes were dashed, and I will explain why below.
Any Pasta Is A No Go At Panera Bread
The menu at Panera Bread has obviously undergone some changes over the years, but while the chain has seemingly always served mac and cheese, they discontinued their other pasta offerings. Don’t mourn, as that actually might be for the best. Not only was the pasta given some pretty bad reviews on , but the way in which any pasta is prepared at Panera makes it a real no-go.
Specifically, none of the pasta at Panera is made fresh in the store. Instead, it arrives frozen and is then reheated to serve. Obviously, that doesn’t sound appetizing, but Panera maintains its quality assurance despite that awkward reality. A spokesperson for Panera told TODAY that “Mac and cheese is made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs and using our sourced ingredients that meet our standards for our clean menu offerings.” Well, whether or not it’s exactly “clean” or meets your own standards, just know that the pasta at Panera, including the beloved mac and cheese, isn’t all that fresh or homemade.
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The Perks Of Loyalty: Paneras Unlimited Coffee Subscription Program Is Already A Big Success
Panera launched an unlimited subscription coffee program in late February, a move CEO Niren Chaudhary called disruptive.
Indeed, no other chain had launched such a program without restrictions on size, daypart or channel.
Then the pandemic hit. Workers stopped commuting to the office , and the only thing that was actually disrupted was business as usual.
Still, Panera has so far managed to break the 835,000-subscriber level on its fledgling, $8.99-a-month program, including over 700,000 sign-ups alone in July.
We recruited about 100,000 members in February so we are seeing a big acceleration on that, said Eduardo Luz, who was brought on as Paneras chief brand and concept officer in May. To get to this level completely surprised us. What weve achieved in three weeks is three times what we projected.
How was the chain able to incentivize customers to swing by for coffee when most were anxious to simply leave their houses? By keeping it simple.
We try to look at this from a consumer perspective. It has been a tough stretch for everybody and making it very easy for them to get free coffee is just our way to infuse some positivity, Luz said. We offered this with no catch. When people understood how simple it was, droves of people registered.
A Great Coffee Deal For Panera Breakfast Lovers
Whether Panera coffee is already a part of your routine, or you usually stop in for breakfast, a MyPanera+ Coffee subscription is a great deal and a no-brainer. Youre already here, so why not make your breakfast stop even more affordable? And theres no doubt that coffee is delicious with a freshly or savory .
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Panera Bread Versus Starbucks: A Coffee Meeting Analysis
Youre a methodical business networker. You follow up with new friends, inviting them to imbibe in a coffee and discuss your respective perspectives. And so, the question is batted back and forth like a badminton shuttlecock where to meet?
Two particular venues are suggested time and again for coffee meetings: Panera Bread and Starbucks . As a service to my adoring public, I offer this analysis based upon a statistically unreliable sample size of one research study participant. Take this for what its meant to be, and please dont extrapolate to the general population:
If a Barista Screams in a Forest but Nobody Hears Them, Will You Still Get Your Coffee?: When meeting a business friend in public, you must consider the venues decibel level and your own noise tolerance threshold level. At most SB locations, regardless of where you sit, its hard to escape the gurgling, belching sounds of the commercial espresso machine. At most PB locations, there is always a wall or divider of some sort available that helps to buffer these distracting hisses and yodels. Advantage: Panera Bread
On the flip side, if you get to a PB at just the right time, an intimate booth is usually yours for the taking. The soft, plush couches and chairs arent as plentiful at PB. Also, their highboy chairs and tables can be awkward for those of us with height-challenged issues . Advantage: Starbucks for comfort, but Panera Bread for privacy
Overall Coffee Meeting Advantage: Panera Bread
Watch Your Back Starbucks
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The frost of winter is melting away, the summer sun is gradually awakening, and the iced coffee craze is back. Year after year, java lovers make the transition from their piping hot Pumpkin Spice Latte to the smooth, refreshing taste of a classic cup of iced coffee. Over the past few weeks, I’ve scoured the world of fast food to find the one thing that drives young students and business CEO’s alike: iced coffee. Not only do these mega-chains offer cheap and convenient food, but many have also honed their barista skills to perfect the classic cup of joe.
It seems everyone you come in contact with has their own favorite place to get their caffeine fix. If you want to change up your routine and stray away from the usual Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, here’s a guide to the best fast food iced coffee options from coast to coast.
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The Fountain Sodas Are A Waste Of Money At Panera Bread
When you’re out to lunch or grabbing dinner for the night, the mere thought of an ice-cold soda might be enough to have you ordering one. And honestly, no one could blame you. Whether you’re more of a Dr. Pepper or Sprite person, sometimes a soda just hits the spot. Still, no matter how badly you might want one, the fountain sodas are a waste of money at Panera, and not even what the chain is known for, either.
In one Reddit thread, an ex-Panera Bread worker explained that there was one shocking item they wouldn’t advise anyone to spend money on. “It’s INSANE and the markup is intense,” the former employee wrote of what Panera charges customers in general. “Also the fountain sodas! They cost like 5 cents to make and they charge like $3 for a large.” Yikes. Obviously, you can’t get a 5 cent soda anywhere, really, but there are a lot of places that will only charge one dollar or so for a large, instead of what Panera charges customers. Really, you’re better off sticking to the free water.
Panera Bread: Get Unlimited Free Coffee Through September 7
Panera Bread is offering a hot deal for hot coffee.
Its estimated that Americans spend more than $1,000 on coffee annually. However, with Panera Breads coffee subscription program, that price could drop to $108 every year.
The service offers unlimited hot coffee, iced coffee and hot tea for just $8.99 a month at participating cafés any size, any flavor.
You can redeem the perk once every two hours.
However, right now, theres an even better deal on the coffee subscription!
BONUS: Sign up through September 7 and receive a FREE coffee subscription through Sept. 7, 2020.
Note: The originally deadline to sign up for the FREE subscription was July 4, but thats been extended to September 7.
If you already have a coffee subscription, you dont have to do anything. Theyll automatically waive any renewal fees June 22nd to September 7th.
Please note that youll need to add a credit card when you sign up, and that if you dont cancel when the free trial period ends, youll be charged. So make a note to yourself to re-evaluate when September rolls around! Thanks to reader, Barry, for pointing this out!
Scroll down for the FAQ.
You must be a member of its MyPanera rewards program to join. Then, the complimentary cup is added to your account as a reward just redeem it at checkout or online.
According to Panera Bread, the monthly program pays for itself in just four visits based on the purchase of four 12-oz. cups of coffee.
For more details, review the programs FAQs.
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Why I Wont Be Keeping My Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription
I think the Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription is an amazing idea. I mean who doesnt want to save on their everyday coffee? BUTTTTT in my opinion the inconsistency with the coffee wasnt worth it. And, when you add in the extremely long wait, its really a lot easier to just go to my favorite coffee shop.
So, I wont be keeping my coffee subscription from Panera Bread, but if you get a free trial, I highly recommend you try itand let me know what you think.
This Panera Bread Sandwich Is So Not Healthy
Obviously, one of the biggest reasons people frequent Panera Bread is because the chain paints itself as a healthy alternative to most other fast food joints. However, not everything on the Panera menu is all that healthy. In fact, there is one sandwich that you should never order, at least if you’re trying to be health-conscious. The offender in question is the chain’s Modern Caprese Sandwich, which features mozzarella, Parmesan, and a white bean puree all topped with a delicious smoked tomato confit, basil, and a balsamic glaze.
In fact, registered dietitian, Natalie Rizzo told Eat This Not That that the Modern Caprese is deceptively unhealthy. “With 19 grams of saturated fat and more than half the amount of sodium you should have in a day, the Modern Caprese is something to steer clear of,” Rizzo said. It might look healthy without any deli meat and some vegetables, but this sandwich is really high in fat and sodium, making it something you should eat with plenty of caution.
Refills At Panera Are Free So Go Small
Let’s get real the free wifi at Panera Bread is a great excuse to get some work or studying done. You can hang out longer and enjoy another cup of coffee or round of tea and soda at the self-serve machine while feeling productive. If that’s the plan for the day, be sure to pay attention to your drink size when you order.
Panera Bread offers refills on most of their drinks including coffee, tea, water, and soda of any size. So, if you plan to hang around with your laptop, a group of friends or listen to some music, a former employee spilled to Spoon University that you can save a little bit of money up front by ordering a small at the register and then refilling your drink of choice as many times as you wish.This won’t work on specialty drinks such as hot chocolate or frozen mochas, but we can’t be too greedy. Go ahead, try it. You might have to make more trips to the counter, but your wallet will thank you later.
Jack In The Box Coffee
Once upon a time, Jack in the Box actually had distinctive, good-tasting coffee. Back then, about ten years ago, they used genuine Kona coffee beans sourced from Hawaii. Unfortunately, Jack’s bean counters evidently decided that unique choice was too exotic and switched to Arabica beans, which is the go-to choice for generic drive-thru coffee these days. While Jack in the Box has decent coffee, there’s nothing special about it any longer and there’s no reason to go out of your way to acquire it. If you’re already there getting a pair of tacos or a Sourdough Jack and have a hankering for coffee, go ahead and get it. You won’t be overwhelmed or underwhelmed just adequately whelmed.
Of their three iced coffee flavors, go with the original. The caramel and mocha iced coffees are way too syrupy, to the point that you can hardly tell you’re still drinking something that has coffee as a base.