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At Panera Bread Company, value means a lot more than just low prices. It means wholesome food and fresh-baked bread, served in a warm and inviting environment, even if you have to pay a little more for it. In the restaurant business these days, value typically means one thing— cheap. Today’s casual restaurants are offering a seemingly endless hodgepodge of value meals, dollar items, budget sandwiches, and rapid-fire promotional deals that scream “value, value, value.” But Panera understands that even when finances are tight, low prices often aren’t the best value. Why is Panera Bread so successful? Unlike so many competitors in the post-Great Recession era, Panera is about the value you get for what you pay, and what you get is a full-value dining experience. At Panera, it all starts with the food, which centers around fresh-baked bread. Fresh bagels, pastries, egg soufflés, soups, salads, sandwiches and paninis, and coffee drinks and smoothies give customers full meal options at any time of day. Perhaps even more important is the Panera experience—one so inviting that people don’t want to leave. Even during the Great Recession, rather than cutting back on value and lowering prices in difficult times, Panera boosted quality and value while competitors cut back. Freshness has remained a driving force. Adding value and charging accordingly has paid off handsomely for Panera, through bad economic times and good.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is Panera Bread Company all about? How does it create its own niche in the crowded restaurant marketplace? Discuss the value Panera offers and what it charges to draw out the store’s value equation: providing more value than competitors and charging accordingly. Panera Bread Company’s unique price/value equation has led to a fanatical following that is really more “Food Network” than it is “fast food.” People go out of their way to visit a store.
  2. How can Panera Bread Company charge considerably more for its food and drinks than its competitors and still outsell them?

Visit www.panerabread.com and also www.YouTube.com to see related videos of the company, and if possible visit a Panerabread store.

Your answers must be written using APA 7 Format, 2 pages min excluding references page.