Panera Bread Embarks On New Era With Menu Revamp: Salads, Soups, Sandwiches & More by 30Seconds Mom

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8 days ago

Panera Bread Embarks On New Era With Menu Revamp: Salads, Soups, Sandwiches & More

Panera Bread is ushering in a new era, marked by its most significant menu transformation to date. Launched nationwide on April 4, 2024, the revamped menu emphasizes innovation and improvement centered on the core Panera items that have garnered a loyal following: soups, salads, sandwiches and its iconic mac and cheese.

This strategic shift caters to guest preferences, offering over 20 menu updates, including nine new creations and 12 enhanced classics. The focus is on delivering exceptional value through heartier portions at more accessible price points, all presented within a streamlined and user-friendly menu.

“The new era at Panera marks an important and exciting evolution for the brand, one where we are focused on listening to our guests and delivering what they want most,” said José Alberto Dueñas, CEO of Panera Bread. “That means serving great food made just for you, with the right combination of amazing taste, quality ingredients, and value. We are transforming and returning to what our guests love, which will propel Panera into the future as we continue to serve food our guests feel good about eating.”

A Symphony of New Flavors

The new menu boasts a variety of flavor profiles across its additions. Sandwich enthusiasts will find a variety of options, from the hearty Toasted Italiano with Black Forest ham and soppressata to the comforting Chicken Bacon Rancher on black pepper focaccia. The Ciabatta Cheesesteak, with its zesty Peppadew peppers, caters to heartier cravings, while the Tomato Basil BLT offers a classic twist, dished up on tomato-basil miche bread.

In the mood for lighter fare? New salads are also in the mix. The Mediterranean Chicken Greens With Grains boasts a vibrant mix of textures and flavors, while the Southwest Chicken Ranch Salad offers a touch of smoky heat. Lighter options include the Balsamic Chicken Greens With Grains and the Ranch Cobb Salad, both featuring a garden-fresh blend of ingredients.

For fans of Panera's signature mac and cheese, a delightful surprise awaits – the Bacon Mac & Cheese, featuring a rich cheese blend and the smoky indulgence of applewood-smoked bacon.

Enhancing Beloved Panera Classics

Beyond the exciting new additions, Panera hasn't forgotten loyal customers who cherish familiar favorites. Classic menu items, including the Bravo Club Sandwich, Chipotle Chicken Avo Melt, and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, have received recipe refreshes. These ensure that guests continue to experience the signature flavors they know and love, now with an extra layer of deliciousness.

The menu transformation extends beyond just the food – Panera has made operational changes grounded in feedback from Panera team members. The newly configured menu prioritizes streamlining operations for its cafe teams. The new menu layout allows for efficient order processing and makes it easier for teams to deliver food faster and more accurately while achieving better consistency.

“We have already heard great things from our teams about Panera’s new era. The energy and excitement from our associates around these new menu items have been unlike any other menu change we’ve undertaken. This improved associate experience translates to an even better experience for our guests, with the goal of providing more value and creating renewed excitement,” said Debbie Roberts, chief operations officer, Panera Bread. “After interviewing more than 30,000 guests during this process, our research shows what they want is a focus on our core offerings, and we are confident that once they try the new menu, they’ll be back for more.”

Panera Bread's commitment to the guest experience is evident in this comprehensive menu overhaul. By combining innovative new offerings with enhanced classics, all delivered within a streamlined and efficient framework, Panera is poised to solidify its position as a leader in the fast-casual dining scene.

The timing seems right. After the pandemic decimated in-restaurant eating, the climb back has been arduous. In mostly positive year-over-year gains, the industry hit $93.7 billion in March 2023, up from $77.8 billion in March 2022. That means that people are back in restaurants, and keeping them coming back is a priority for all, including Panera.

Photos courtesy of Panera.

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Donna John
The Mediterranean grain salad looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it. Panera is always a go-to spot for lunch. Love their soups, sandwiches and salads. I've never tried the mac and cheese, but will now.
Elisa Schmitz
We are huge fans of Panera Bread! From soups to salads to desserts and, yes, that amazing bread, so many options to choose from and it looks like those options are getting even better now. Excited to try the expanded menu offerings!

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