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Panera Targets Urban Markets With Downsized Cafes

Smaller footprint features limited seating, digital ordering kiosks and more shelving for to-go orders




Photography: Courtesy of Panera

Panera Bread (St. Louis) has opened its updated urban store format in New York, the latest of several new formats the fast-casual chain is targeting at more densely populated and non-traditional trade areas.

With digital sales at Panera now representing 50 percent of total system sales, Panera now offers a portfolio of store formats designed to cater to the needs of an increasingly digital and off-premise guest.

“With a flexible portfolio of cafe designs, we’re now able to bring Panera anywhere, from suburban cafes with double drive-thrus, to a digital-only Panera To Go and everything in between,” Eduardo Luz, Chief Brand & Concept Officer, Panera Bread said in a news release.

The new Panera urban format, at the Hearst Tower in New York, marries a 40 percent smaller footprint than its traditional bakery-cafes with updated ordering kiosks, a fully digitized menu and a new tracking screen providing more detailed order status. Designed with limited counter seating, the bulk of the bakery-cafe features dedicated shelves for pick-up and to-go orders.

It is also the first Panera bakery-cafe in the country that fully incorporates the new Panera brand world, featuring modern and inviting new art, and updated design touches and color palette.

Debuting in 1987 as a community bakery, the chain has since expanded to 2114 bakery-cafes, company and franchise, in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread or Saint Louis Bread Co. names.




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