ST. LOUIS — Panera Bread Co. has unveiled a new bakery-cafe design featuring enhanced digital capabilities, personalized options and more drive-thru access, as well as a focus on the company’s craft bakery experience.
“Innovation is core to who we are and with our new next-generation Panera concept, we are doing what we’ve always done — keeping a personalized experience for the guest at the heart of everything we do,” said Eduardo Luz, chief brand and concept officer, Panera Bread. “We’re doubling down on what has always made Panera unique — creating human connection through caring associates and a warm, inviting environment filled with the smell of freshly-baked bread — while continuing to be a leader in digital access for the off-premise world.”
Panera plans to open its first next-generation bakery-cafe in November in Ballwin, Mo. The new bakery-cafe will include a dual drive-thru with dedicated rapid pick-up lane, contactless dine-in and delivery, updated ordering kiosks and automatic loyalty identification. Additionally, Panera said it will be moving its baking ovens in full view of customers so they can “fully immerse themselves in the experience of baking happening throughout the day.”
The next-generation bakery-cafes also will introduce an updated Panera Bread logo and brand identity, unveiled in 2021. The refreshed Panera “Mother Bread” logo is a nod to the company’s more than 30-year-old sourdough starter from which all of its sourdough bread is still made today, the company said.
Noting that guest convenience is “one of the highest priorities of the new design,” Panera said a core focus of the next-generation design has been improving the guest journey and making it more intuitive. This includes deploying clear and concise wayfinding on the exterior of the cafe and refining how the guest routes through the cafe after entering the front door.
The next-generation Panera bakery-cafe is the latest update in a series of digital and menu innovations from the brand over the course of the last year, including Panera Curbside, its $8.99/month plus tax premium coffee subscription, as well as a new Flatbread Pizza category.