Panera Bread finds great success with digital sales

National chain Panera Bread says that it has accomplished something substantial with its digital sales.

According to Panera, its digital sales have soared above $1 billion on an annualized basis and are on track to be twice as high in two years. That would be higher than any non-pizza restaurant chain’s digital sales.

Panera also says that mobile, Web, and kiosk sales made up 26% of the company’s total sales, and an estimated 1.2 million digital orders are placed per week.

In 2014, Panera Bread began its Panera 2.0 initiative. This new focus on digital looked to enhance the customer experience, and it appears that has paid off.

“We had always assumed digital will be a third of our business. I'm confident it will be,” says Panera President Blaine Hurst. “The question is how high will it be for Panera? The pizza guys are in the 40s. I could see Panera at 50%.”

Through its Rapid Pickup online feature, customers can use a computer or mobile device to order food and then pick it up in the stores. The company is also continuing to roll out delivery at its stores. Delivery has become a bright spot for the food industry, as consumer demand for convenience has made it a top priority.