ST. LOUIS — Lauren Cody, who previously was an executive at McDonald’s Corp., has joined Panera Bread as chief of staff and chief customer officer. She has more than two decades of experience in the foodservice industry.

“Panera is a brand that puts our guests first, and with Lauren driving strategy at the helm of our customer care division, we are excited to continue toward becoming one of the most customer-responsive brands in the industry," said Niren Chaudhary, chief executive officer of St. Louis-based Panera Bread.

Ms. Cody has worked for both McDonald’s and Burger King. During her 13 years at McDonald’s she was managing director of the Norwegian market and vice president of strategy and insights for the United Kingdom. Most recently she was corporate vice president, a position in which she handled consumer and business insights globally.

“To join the executive team at Panera at such a pivotal time in our industry is an exciting challenge,” Ms. Cody said. “Customers are consistently raising the bar for their favorite brands, and Panera is well-positioned to exceed our guest expectations. I look forward to helping drive the strategy as Panera continues its tradition of innovation and leadership in the food industry.”