St. Louis, Missouri will be the location of Panera Bread’s bran new next-generation bakery-cafe, which the company promises to drive-thu and also creating a warm dine-in and improved digital guest experience. Panera has always been an industry leader when it comes to innovation in the fast-casual restaurant segment.
Panera is now pivoting to cater to a world that’s becoming more and more off-premise. While they are still providing a brand new modern and revitalized dine-in experience, the company will also be shifting its focus to improving its digital presence, which will include personalized options, and also will focus on improving its drive-thru access.
Eduardo Luz, Chief Brand & Concept Offer of the company says: “Our new bakery-cafe is designed with the best of what makes Panera unique – a warm, inviting environment that delights our guests, and the smell of freshly baked bread coupled with tech-enabled convenience. We’re proud to launch this new design just outside of our hometown of St. Louis; in fact, we couldn’t think of a better place to showcase our vision for the future than the place where we started.”
The next generation Panera bakery-cafe will have many new features. These include the Craft Bakery experience which will feature freshly baked items that are baked each day and night. Diners will be able to see the goods being baked as the ovens will be in full view. There will be a dual-drive thru with a Rapid Pick-Up lane to make the drive thru and order online/pick up experience more seamless.
Additionally, there will be changes made to enhance the digital experience, including contactless dine-in and also delivery, ordering kiosks, automatic loyalty ID, and a digitized menu.
Contactless ordering will allow guests to order from their phone for dine-in, drive thru, delivery or Rapid Pick up. After the order is placed, the customer is notified on the app when the food is ready, which eliminates direct contact.
Rob Sopkin, SVP and Chief Development Officer of Panera Bread shared: “We undertook the development of the next generation Panera bakery-cafe with a relentless focus on guest experience. Every step of the guest journey was scrutinized to find ways to make it more intuitive and convenient, and the result represents the very best of our design and development teams that we are proud to open today.”