Convenience is king, and Panera Bread knows it. To show its understanding and foodservice prowess, the fast-casual chain recently opened its first “Panera To Go,” its newest restaurant format featuring digitally-enabled convenience for Rapid Pick-Up® and Delivery orders. Situated in Chicago, Illinois, this is the first of three Panera To Go test locations to open this year.
“We strive to make it easy for our guests to access Panera’s chef-curated menu, in the most convenient way. Panera To Go creates yet another access point for our guests, via Rapid Pick-Up or Delivery, in locations where Panera has not historically operated,” said Eduardo Luz, Chief Brand and Concept Officer. “We are excited to launch into more trade areas, where we know people are craving for what Panera offers—freshly prepared delicious dishes, crafted by our chefs and bakers, using clean ingredients.”
Panera To Go is a digital-only bakery-café featuring a reduced front of house where consumers and delivery drivers can easily pick up orders, a press release explained. The concept was designed for densely populated areas that cannot accommodate a dine-in location, and allows Panera to meet demand in these markets for off-premise options.
At the end of 2021, 81 percent of Panera’s sales were coming from one of Panera’s off-premise channels, including Delivery, Rapid Pick-Up, Drive-Thru, and Catering. Due to this rising popularity, Panera To Go was created and will feature less front-of-house duties and simplified operations, allowing associates to focus solely on meeting guests’ needs. Two other Panera To Go cafés will open in California and Washington, DC, later this year. Panera will also evaluate adding Kiosk and Catering orders to the format in the future.
“Panera To Go is another way we can make our guests’ lives easier through digital convenience, which is always at the heart of what we do,” said George Hanson, Chief Digital Officer. “We are already leaders in providing our guests with an exceptional digital experience and adapted our digital channels to provide our guests even more options in the Panera To Go format.”
To read more about this new format, click here.
When will Panera take this new concept nationwide? Stick with Deli Market News for the latest updates.