Panera Bread: Escape from Grease Burgers

The family and I recently had a pleasant experience at Panera Bread. Easily forgotten compared to Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, and Quiznos, Panera Bread could easily establish itself with a healthy, hearty menus of sandwiches, salads, and soups.

This chain, established in 1993 as the former Au Bon Pain Co., sits itself apart from the litany of ‘fast-food’ joints in the following ways:
· Healthy: a 2008 Health magazine study named Panera Bread America’s healthy fast food restaurant.
· Convenient: There are only a couple of Panera Bread location in my market (Austin, Texas), but there are over 1,266 throughout the US and Canada. A big win: Free Wifi makes Panera more of a hang-out place compared to like-minded competitors.
· Store layout: At the location I visited, the majority of the seating is purposely ‘away’ from the order, pick-up and drink stations. The usual commotion around those activities are a restaurant is pleasantly irrelevant at Panera Bread.

One area of concern: Despite the nice atmosphere and tasty food, I thought the portion size could have been a bit more generous.

Check it out and let me know what you think.
Until next time,

Dan Naden
Naden’s Corner
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