Essay Panera: A Competitive Plan For Success

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As you walk through the doors of Panera Bread, the lighting and décor calm you while the fresh smells of the bakery envelop you. Every detail has been carefully coordinated to ensure a high quality dining experience at a reasonable price. This sophisticated concept for Panera began when a cookie company and a fast casual restaurant, called Au Bon Pain, synergized their efforts and found a propitious niche between fast food and fine dining (Repetti & Vincelette, 2005). By 2003, the company was able to generate significant revenues through company-owned stores, through the sale of fresh dough to franchisees, and through royalties and fees paid by franchisees (Repetti & Vincelette, 2005). In an effort to ensure success of Panera’s strategic…show more content…
In fact, franchised operations quadrupled from 1999 to 2003 and outnumbered company-owned Panera locations (Repetti & Vincelette, 2005). Finally, Panera’s fervent focus on their financial strategy gave the company a competitive advantage. The decision to sell Au Bon Pain allowed Panera Bread to entirely eliminate their debt and gain capital for future store openings (Repetti & Vincelette, 2005). Another smart financial decision the company made was their imposed franchise fees and strict requirement that all franchisees purchase dough directly from the company’s fresh dough facility (Repetti & Vincelette, 2005). Therefore, Panera was able to not only generate revenue from company-owned stores, but also had a steady revenue flow from their franchised stores. In order for Panera to experience endured success in their new strategic direction, I propose that the company pursue a strategy that emphasizes growth, seeks to enhance the customer experience, and reinforces their financial control. Panera should continue its rapid growth through franchising. Though franchising can create problems for the franchisor with issues such as poor management, it is the one of the most rapid ways to grow a business without having to provide direct capital (Cavaliere & Swerdlow, 1988). This aspect of their operations strategy must be meticulously managed and franchisee applicants should be carefully selected to ensure that the franchisees are upholding the

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