Panera Bread is a chain of bakery-café fast casual restaurants in the United States that started out as Au Bon Pain Company in 1981 and was founded by Louis Kane and Ron Saich. The locations were mostly malls, shopping centers, etc. In 1993 APB purchased St. Louis Bread Co giving them 20 additional locations. During 1994 and 1995 market research concluded a need for quality dining which was fresh and fast. St. Louis locations went through major overhaul with the vision to create a specialty café anchored by an authentic, fresh-dough artisan bakery and upscale quick-service menu selections. By 1997 sales volume had increased by 75% and 100+ Stores of St. Louis Bread Co were opened. Then by the year end the St. Louis Bread Co. was renamed as Panera Bread. In 1998 Ron Saich sold Au Bon Pain Brand for $73 Million to Panera Bread and went all in on the Panera Model, with the company then spanning over 180 Locations. By 2003, Panera Bread was recognized as the market leader of USA in the specialty bread segment and scored the highest level of customer loyalty among Quick Service Restaurants by TNS Intersearch Study. In 2004 J.D. Power & Associates Restaurant Satisfaction Study ranked Panera highest among QSR’s in Midwest & NE in all categories including environment, meal, service, and cost. In 2005, for the 4th straight year, Panera was the best among 121 competitors according to Sandleman & Associates National Customer Satisfaction Survey, they also won “Best of” awards in nearly every market across 36 states. Issues
Panera Management needs to make sure customer and stockholders understand the freshness of their ingredients are the best they can offer. The goal of Panera is to provide High Quality, Low Cost food to its consumers, but this is hard to maintain and quite impossible as they grow. In the past, promotional activities have been underused, heavily reliant on word-of-mouth. They should be more prominent as they...
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