Panera Bread Company is a leader in the easy casual restaurant industry with multiple café-bakeries located in 36 states, of the United States. Panera operates under the banner of Panera and Saint Louis Bread Company. Almost 400 of its 1,027 bakeries are company-operated and the remainders are franchisees.
Panera Bread’s core competencies are in their market niche, offering a premium specialty bakery and café experience to suburban and urban residents. Penera’s focus is offering their customers with better than their rivals, making the dining experience so attractive to their customers will pass up their competitors in outlets of other easy casual restaurants to dine at the nearest Panera Bread
A strategic issues is substitutes and threats of substitutes in Penear Bread Company’s distinctive competencies, their menu. Penera’s menu is being substituted by new rivals. New restaurant chains, in fast-casual and other categories are becoming more competitively fierce and are drawing customers by imitating Panera’s menus at a lower cost.
To address this strategic issue, I recommend Panera to employ an offensive strategy to increase sales during prime times such as lunch and dinner, continue to be more innovative by implementing in-depth surveys to customers, employees, via text messages, e-mails, etc., and execute a plan for managers to manage by walking around (MBWA) communicating and listening to employees and customers. Example, this technique has worked successfully for companies like Wal-Mart who have been very successful in using the (MBWA) strategy. This will draw and boost their customer base giving them a sustainable competitive advantage.
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