Panera Bread said it expects to add more than 10,000 in-cafe and delivery driver jobs system-wide as it expands delivery service to 35% to 40% of its bakery cafes by year end. At the beginning of the year, delivery service was available in about 15% of the company’s more than 2,000 locations.
“Panera is doing for delivery what we did for quick-service — creating an elevated guest experience end-to-end,” says Ron Shaich, Panera founder, chairman, and chief executive officer. “In many places across the country, all that’s available for delivery is pizza or Chinese food. We’re closing the gap in delivery alternatives and creating a way for people to have more options for real food delivered to their homes and workplaces.”
Launched in early 2015, Panera Delivery will provide lunch and dinner to offices, hospitals, campuses and homes within an eight-minute drive of a Panera bakery-cafe. Delivery is generally available between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week for as little as a $5 menu purchase plus a $3 delivery fee in most locations. The service is integrated with Panera’s digital and mobile payment platforms and loyalty program, MyPanera, which has more than 25 million members and enables customers to earn and track rewards, save favorite orders and receive special offers.
To enhance Panera Delivery, the chain is introducing a new order tracking system with Bringg technology that allows customers to follow a delivery’s progress on a map, see an expected arrival time, and receive a notification when the driver is arriving. Additionally, Panera Bread is hiring its own drivers in company-owned and franchised markets across the country to offer a more traditional delivery experience, the company said.
“For the first time, Panera Delivery is making it possible for us to hand deliver our great food directly to people where they work and live,” says Blaine Hurst, Panera Bread president. “For us, hiring our own drivers was the only way we could ensure that our delivery guests get the same high quality experience they have come to expect from our bakery cafes.”