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Panera Bread wants to be known for more than just lunch and bagels



Panera Bread's Menu Items for Dinner

Panera Bread

After Panera Bread expanded its breakfast menu earlier this year, the company is trying to break into a different mealtime: dinner has a dinner menu at a single location in Jacksonville, Florida, testing and expanding the pilot trial to nine stores in Lexington, Kentucky next month.

Dinner currently accounts for about a quarter to a third of Panera's sales, whichever comes when lunch ends and meal times begin. However, the company sees the food as a potentially great opportunity.

"We resigned about a year ago … to say: & # 39; In the next five years, where will we grow and where will we get the most value out of our value creation?" Dan Wegiel, Paneras main growth and strategy officer, said in an interview.

For restaurants that have seen slow sales growth, the introduction of a new menu for an idle mealtime can increase sales. For example, after entering the breakfast wars five years ago, Taco Bell stole part of McDonald's market share, thanks in part to a marketing campaign that sharpened customer awareness.

Wegiel said the chain has built a strong awareness of lunch, but many customers consider soups, salads and sandwiches too light for dinner.

Therefore, Panera has decided to add more savory options available after 4.30pm: flatbread pizzas, meatier sandwiches and bowls. Even with completely new offerings such as pizza and bowls, Panera's culinary team has tried to stick to the classic flavors that customers will associate with the chain, such as a Chipotle Chicken and Bacon Artisan Flatbread that features the same Chipotle Mayo one of his popular sandwiches used and a breakfast wrap.

The restaurant also added some fresh vegetable items that should appeal to children and parents alike.

Panera tries to target customers who are looking for a quick but satisfying dinner during the week, especially families who travel a lot.

"People are often challenged by the dichotomy between convenience and quality, so you have to trade one against the other, especially dinner on the way," said Sara Burnett, Panera's vice president of wellness and food policy, Popular Delivery to order. Unlike many restaurants, Panera uses its own delivery drivers instead of working with a third-party delivery service such as DoorDash or GrubHub.

"We definitely saw an opportunity for dinner delivery, but it turned out to be something we could certainly unlock further," Wegiel said.

More than 60% of Panera's current supply orders are made during lunch break. This could change if Panera introduces the menu nationwide. Wegiel, however, said raising orders for dinner delivery was not the main reason for introducing a new strategy.


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