Panera Bread has announced that for the second consecutive year, the company has received the Employer of Choice award in the fast-casual restaurant segment from Black Box Intelligence, a leading provider of restaurant industry data and insights. The Employer of Choice award is based on workforce data and recognizes Panera’s low hourly and management turnover rates, competitive compensation and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“When our team members are happy, our guests are happy, and we are focused on our employees’ experience through business training, education on leadership and life skills, ways to serve the community and more,” says KJ Payette, chief people officer, Panera Bread. “We’re committed to maintaining our company as an employer of choice in fast casual and to ensuring Panera is a place of warmth, belonging, growth and trust for all.”

Panera has invested heavily in capability building, training and recognition programs and Panera’s General Manager (GM) turnover rates are one of the lowest in the restaurant industry. Panera GMs have a tenure of over nine years on average and are nearly 98 percent internal promotes.

“At Panera, we believe our General Managers are our most important leaders, and we aim to empower them to look after our team members who can in turn delight our guests,” says Debbie Roberts, chief operating officer, Panera Bread. “We believe that our approach improves operator performance and quality, bolsters management retention and fosters team stability, which results in a higher level of consistency and guest service within our bakery-cafes.”