This case study identified many strengths Panera Bread has including those dating back to Au Bon Pain Company; however, this section will only identify those strengths associated with the current position of Panera Bread Company. First and foremost is customer service. The company has been awarded with two major customer service awards including the J.D. Power and Associates’ restaurant satisfaction study which ‘‘ranked Panera Bread highest among quick-service restaurants in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States in all categories’’ (C-162). Customer loyalty is another key to Panera’s success. Studies from the case show that Panera has a high rate of returning customers once Panera has got them in the door. Panera Bread has a large and diverse menu that has been very well received from the public. In fact, their menu is set up not only to provide healthy and fresh choices but also to accommodate five different dinning times throughout the day including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, ‘chill-out time,’ and light evening fare for eat-in or take-out. The company started with zero debt on its balance sheet in 1999 and had “no long term debt at all” in 2006 (C-170).
Weaknesses of Panera Bread Co.
One weakness Panera Bread has in relation to other companies in the same market is that Panera does not provide a faster pick-up and take-away option (a drive through) like most other quick-service restaurants have. Since most Panera Bread’s are found in strip shopping centers the locations can be difficult to find for travelers or those unfamiliar with the area. The case study also described the difficulties in obtaining a franchise with the company. There are many criteria one must meet before becoming eligible for a franchise. In addition to the expensive upstart costs, extensive experience in multi-unit restaurant management, and real estate knowledge, after obtaining a franchise and opening locations in line with... [continues]
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