Essay Panera Bread Company: Still Rising Fortunes?

2060 WordsMay 13, 20149 Pages
Panera Bread is a renowned restaurant that has come about from the merging of great companies and people. However, the beginning was actually with Au Bon Pain which was started in Boston’s Feneuil Hall as a demonstration bakery. Louis Kane was struck by this store’s growth potential and purchased the business in 1978. Between 1978 and 1981 the company opened 13 stores, but subsequently closed 10 of these stores, in the Boston area and had major debt. Ronald Shaich, a recent graduate from Harvard, opened the Cookie Jar in 1980 and befriended Louis Kane. In 1981, the friends merged the Au Bon Pain and the Cookie Jar to form one business known as Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. The co-CEO’s were able to lower debt, expand the business, and centralized…show more content…
Since trends are always changing, Panera does a good job in changing their menu to keep with customer demands. This ever changing menu has offerings to satisfy changing customer preferences, improve its products, and maintain customer interest. By maintaining the customer interest in its menu items Panera must continue to do research and develop new goods. As Panera doesn’t have a test kitchen, these items are instead tested these items out directly in the cafés. The research and development team have twice yearly retreats that allow these team members to “out do” each other with their creations. Panera has also been able to negotiate the real estate locations so that be actually favors the company. This is also true with the ordering food products and other goods. Most of these companies will offer discounts on goods due to the name recognition and stability of the company when others are failing. Core Competencies: When looking into core competencies Panera has proven and developed many of these. The goal in the beginning was to sell high quality food with a mid-price level. Panera has since exceeded the goal and customer expectations in the casual fast food category. The company continues to maintain these expectations by having fresh dough distribution centers in regional areas. This provides the product quickly and allows for faster use which keeps the product fresher for customers. While Panera strives to maintain these standards, the company

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