Panera Bread Case

Topics: Fast casual restaurant, Panera Bread, Types of restaurants Pages: 5 (1503 words) Published: December 15, 2012
Amber E Mones-Jackson
Drop Box #1: Panera Bread Company Case
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The Au Bon Pain Bakery was first opened in 1976 to fulfill the concept of a fast casual restaurant. Following a period of debt; the Cookie Jar Bakery owned by Ronald Shaich and Aub Bon Pain Bakery owned by Louis Kane merged to become Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. in 1981. In 1985 after noticing customers buying bread and adding their own sandwich meat, the company decided to add fresh made sandwiches to their menu to capitalize on the profit. After going public in 1991, Shaich decided that in order to expand the purchase of the St. Louis Bread Company was paramount. Au Bon Pain or “where good bread is” would eventually become Panera Bread Company in 1999(Thomas L. Wheelen and J). Panera Bread Company would become the leader in fast casual dining; combining the ease of fast food with the quality of the restaurant experience and a coffee shop atmosphere. Noticing the needs of businessmen for having a place to meet and dine simultaneously; Panera developed its business to meet five different “meals”; breakfast, lunch, daytime “chillout”, lunch in the evening, and take-home bread(Thomas L. Wheelen and J). As a result of Panera’s ingenuity; it became the leader in a bakery-café style restaurant providing fresh-baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, and coffee (Thomas L. Wheelen and J). Panera Bread Company’s growth and success was the direct result of the standards set by Au Bon Pain in its identification as the pioneer in the fast casual restaurant category. Having met four criteria including: a limited service or self service style, pricing that fell between fast food and casual dining, made-to-order food with complex flavors, and upscale décor much like that of a neighborhood bistro; Panera quickly grew and gained profit and continues to flourish today. Panera enjoyed total revenues in 2011 of $1,822,032,000 as reported to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and net income of $135, 952,000.

* “Panera” brand name
* Au Bon Pain’s business structure
* Louis Kane and his connections
* CEO Ronald Shaich
* Competitive pricing
* Debt free due to sale of Au Bon Pain unit in 1999
* St. Louis Bread Company’s suburban market
* Experience
* Financial capital
* Wide range of locations
* Raw Materials
* Fresh Dough Facilities
* Trucking Fleet
* Via Panera

* Fast casual business structure
* Wide range of customers
* Made-to-order menu items
* Expansion
* Franchising
* Creating a national brand
* Cater to market demands
* Low cost advertising

Core Competencies:
* One of the first of its kind of fast casual restaurants * Robert Shaich
* Franchise Strategy
* Fresh Dough facilities

Findings of fact:
1) “Panera did not rely heavily on advertising to promote its stores”(Thomas L. Wheelen and J). Panera instead used menu development, in-store promotions, product merchandising, and sponsoring of charities to help get its name recognized and increase sales(Thomas L. Wheelen and J).In what ways could an identifiable image (such as McDonald’s golden arches) aid in brand recognition and advertising?

First and foremost I feel that Panera’s effort to sponsor charities is quite commendable, there truly is no better way to gain recognition or compete with similar businesses than to give to charity. This year a local restaurant in Oak Harbor hosted a pig roast as a means for collecting donations to charities in the area. The amount collected and distributed to local charities by the owner of the local restaurant was published in our local paper. As a result of his efforts, he has gained recognition and people are honored to eat in his restaurant. An ever developing menu is also a good way to gain recognition, however I feel that this method could possibly pose issues like the ones seen with fast...
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