Panera Bread

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Panera Bread Company


The Panera Bread legacy began in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. Founded by Louis Kane and Ron Shaich, the company prospered along the east coast of the United States and internationally throughout the 1980s and 1990s and became the dominant operator within the bakery-cafe category. In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. purchased Saint Louis Bread Company, a chain of 20 bakery-cafes located in the St. Louis area. The company then managed a comprehensive re-staging of Saint Louis Bread Co. Between 1993 and 1997 average unit volumes increased by 75%. Ultimately the concept's name was changed to Panera Bread. Panera Bread has been recognized as one of Business Week's "100 Hot Growth Companies."As reported by the Wall St. Journal's Shareholder Scorecard in 2006, Panera Bread was recognized as the top performer in restaurant category for one-, five- and ten-year returns to shareholders. Today, there are more than 1160 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in 40 states delivering fresh, authentic artisan bread on a national scale.


Panera Bread’s major problem is its development in North America and the disparity of its implementation in general. The company has many cafés all around the United States, in major cities such as St Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas… but big cities such as New York city, Phoenix, San Antonio, New Orleans,… do not have any Panera Bread Cafés.

The strategic challenge for Panera Bread is to develop the implementation of the company all around North America before going to the international market. With its own characteristics and a good development, Panera Bread will be a major actor on the bakery-café market and will compete with big companies such as Starbucks or Subway.


Core Competence

-The company’s fresh-dough-making capability for fresh baked and quality goods served in a comfortable environment.



-Panera Bread is well-known for the quality of its products, it provides warm and baked food that people trust. -The comfortable environment of the cafés is also a major strength for the company, customers really like to hang out in Panera Bread café and spend their breakfast or lunch time in a peaceful and smooth environment. -Customer satisfaction and their tendency to share their positive experiences with friends and neighbours. -Company’s fresh-dough-making capability provide a competitive advantage by ensuring a daily quality and dough-making efficiency. -Panera Bread growth strategy: opening both owned-company and franchise locations.


-Lack of Panera Bread’s locations in many states in the U.S and in North America in general. -Panera Bread’s weak marketing, a lot of people do not know their innovative products.


-Higher quality quick dinning experience than the traditional fast food restaurant -Fast casual restaurant market is a growing market
-Panera Bread is in the trend, its food correspond to the actual trend of heart-healthy, organic, low calorie food. -The catering market to increase lunch and dinner sales.


-Important competition and major competitors such as Subway or Starbucks on the market which have restaurants in North America and all around the world. -Business itself is really hard, labor intensive, extremely competitive and risky. - People only come in the restaurant once a day (for breakfast or lunch but not for both) Panera Bread will have to find new ways to attract them. -The company will always have to be really innovative to always follow the trend of the market and stay focus on the customers needs. -The company must have to continue to develop itself all around the U.S and in North America.


Political and Legal:

-Political and legal factors were not addressed in the Panera Bread Company case study but Panera Bread company like the other fast food companies and restaurants takes...
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