Number One: It Wasn’t Always Panera Bread. Panera Bread founders started Au Bon Pain before beginning Panera. They subsequently bought Saint Louis Bread Company with the intention of expanding it under the Panera name. However, the founders eventually sold ABP to focus solely on Panera Bread because it was growing so quickly.
Number Two: They Never Use Antibiotics. In fact, when choosing the kind of chicken to use in the stores, the food team went through 30 different varieties of chicken before finally settling on one that did not have antibiotics in it.
Number Three: Panera Food Development Staff Travels to Taste New Food Every Year. Twice a year, the food development team goes to the Adirondacks to try new dishes. In fact, all staff meetings at the company begin with a literal breaking of bread.
Number Four: Fresh Bread Is Delivered to Every Location Every Single Day. It’s true! Because Panera Bread truly loves bread and appreciates the quality so much, it has fresh bread delivered to every single location every single morning.
Number Five: Panera Gives a Lot of Its Products Away. At the end of the day, something has to be done with the bread and bagels leftover. Rather than using old products the following day like some other chains do, Panera gives them away to people who need it most.
Number Six: It Goes Through 150 Million Pounds of Flour Every Year. The company sells an impressive 160 million loaves of bread every year. On top of the 240 million bagels it annually sells, that means it requires 150 million pounds of flour to support its sales.
Number Seven: Some Panera Locations Go by Other Names. Because the company was originally the Saint Louis Bread Company, some of its locations in St. Louis are still called Saint Louis Bread Company.
Number Eight: The Largest Free Wi-Fi Provider. After the company allowed its customers to use free Wi-Fi, sales increased by an impressive 15%. In ’12, more than 2 million people were using Panera’s free Wi-Fi every single month.
Number Nine: At the Peak of Its Expansion, a New Store Was Opening Every 5 Days. It’s true! The chain was growing so rapidly at one point that a new location opened in the U.S. every 5 days – that’s an expansion rate of 32%.
Number Ten: Earn Food Through Volunteering. As part of the Panera Bread Cares program, customers can volunteer for an hour a week to earn a voucher for a free meal if they can’t afford to pay for it. Thanks for reading!
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