ST. LOUIS — Panera Bread Co. has opened its first Panera To Go restaurant, a digital-only bakery-café in Chicago where guests and delivery drivers may pick up orders from Rapid Pick-Up and delivery shelves. The St. Louis-based chain expects to open two more Panera To Go restaurants, one in California and one in Washington, DC, later this year.

The Panera To Go restaurant is designed for densely populated areas that cannot accommodate a dine-in bakery-café. The front of house does not offer any seating. Panera Bread Co. may add kiosk and catering orders to the new format in the future. The new format, where applicable, will serve all dayparts.

“Panera To Go is another way we can make our guests’ lives easier through digital convenience, which is always at the heart of what we do,” said George Hanson, chief digital officer for Panera Bread. “We are already leaders in providing our guest with an exceptional digital experience and adapted our digital channels to provide our guest even more options in the Panera To Go format.”

At the end of 2021, 81% of Panera’s sales were through one of its off-premise channels, including delivery, Rapid Pick-Up, drive-thru and catering, and 44% of Panera bakery-cafes included a drive-thru.