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Panera Bread
(St. Louis Bread in Greater St. Louis)
Type Public (NASDAQPNRA)
Founded Kirkwood, Missouri (1981)
Headquarters Richmond Heights, Missouri, United States[1]
Key people Ken Rosenthal, founder
Ronald M. Shaich, founder, chairman, and CEO
Louis Kane, founder[1]
Industry Restaurants
Products Fast casual/Bakery-café, including several varieties of bread, such as bagels and muffins, cold sandwiches, hot panini, salads, and soups
Revenue US$1.30 Billion (FY 2008)[2]
Operating income US$113 Million (FY 2008)[2]
Net income US$67.4 Million (FY 2008)[2]
Total assets US$674 Million (FY 2008)[3]
Total equity US$495 Million (FY 2008)[3]
Employees 4,746 full time (December 2005)
Panera Bread in Chicago's South Loop

Panera Bread (called St. Louis Bread Company in the St. Louis metropolitan area) is a chain of bakery-café restaurants in the United States and Canada which sells breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, and organic foods. Panera no longer offers pizza dinners. Their updated menu includes seasonal cookies, a wider variety of coffee flavors, and macaroni and cheese. Panera is considered a "fast casual" restaurant and offers catering as well. It is headquartered in Richmond Heights, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.[4]


Corporate history

In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co. purchased the Saint Louis Bread Company, which was founded by Ken Rosenthal. At the same time, the St. Louis Bread Company was renovating its 20 bakery-cafés in the St. Louis area.[5]

In May 1999, to expand Panera Bread into a national restaurant, Au Bon Pain Co. sold its other chains, including Au Bon Pain, which is now owned by Compass Group North America.[6] Au Bon Pain Co. then renamed itself Panera Bread. The company operates or franchises 1,362 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in 40 states[5] and 17 facilities that deliver fresh dough to the bakery-cafés every day. Panera Bread's CEO is Ron Shaich.

In its headquarters city of St. Louis, Panera Bread still operates under the name St. Louis Bread Company. The St. Louis metropolitan area has over 50 locations.

In 2005, Panera ranked 37th on BusinessWeek's list of "Hot Growth Companies", earning $38.6 million with a 42.9% increase in profits.[7][8]

Panera Bread expanded into Canada, beginning in 2008 with Richmond Hill and Mississauga, both in the Toronto area.[9][10]

On January 25, 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against Panera Bread on behalf of investors who bought company stock between November 1, 2005 and July 26, 2006, alleging that Panera Bread failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company's financial well-being, business relationships, and prospects.[11]

In a 2008 Health magazine study, Panera Bread was judged America's most healthy fast food restaurant.[12]

In 2009, the restaurant review service Zagat named Panera one of the most popular restaurants for eating on the go.[13] Panera was also rated #1 for Best Healthy Option,[14] Best Salad,[13] and Best Facilities, among restaurants with fewer than 5,000 locations.[14]

Internet access

Most locations offer free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access to customers. Panera operates the largest free wireless network in the United States.[15][16] This service includes SonicWALL Internet filtering, which queries a central database before blocking or allowing access by category; the filter has been known to incorrectly categorize sites.[17] Many locations restrict the duration of free wi-fi during peak hours[18] to 30 or 60 minutes.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Panera Bread Press Kit". Panera Bread. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Panera Bread Company (PNRA) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^ a b Panera Bread Company (PNRA) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  4. ^ "Panera tests $16.99 lobster sandwich." Dayton Business Journal. Tuesday August 18, 2009. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Our History". Panera Bread. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  6. ^ Au Bon Pain: bakery-cafe weighs in on diet fads, offers more healthful fare to concerned customers Nation's Restaurant News, January 31, 2005.
  7. ^ "St. Louis Firms Make BusinessWeek's Hot Growth List". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. 2005-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Giving Fast Food A Run For Its Money". Businessweek. 2006-04-17. 
  9. ^ Walkup, Carylyn (2006-06-19). "Panera Bread to launch dinner menu, push toward 1,000 units". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  10. ^ Brown, Lisa R (2007-10-26). "Panera Bread headquarters in play". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Panera faces class-action lawsuit". St. Louis Business Journal. American City Business Journals. February 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  12. ^ Minkin, Tracy; Brittani Reaud (February 12, 2009). "America's Healthiest". Health Magazine. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  13. ^ a b "The 2009 Zagat Fast-Food Survey". Zagat Survey. 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "2009 Awards & Recognition". Panera Bread. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  15. ^ Zumpano, Anthony (2006-10-23). "Panera Bread: flour power". features (brandchannel). Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  16. ^ Nowlin, Terrence (2006-11-01). "Plugging into wireless: wireless Internet is making its way into more parks nationwide". Parks & Recreation (National Recreation and Park Association). Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  17. ^ Philips, Eliot (June 18, 2008). "SonicWALL still hates us". Hack a Day. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  18. ^ Anderson, Nate (July 10, 2006). "Free WiFi spawns cafe backlash". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 

External links

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