To be very honest, lots of us don’t need more reasons to head to Panera Bread. Their food is good and is healthier than many competitions, so there’s no reason not to go there for a quick but satisfying bite. The breads are baked fresh daily, the ingredients are healthy and wholesome, and they have light but filling options. So, really, if you want something quick that won’t feel like you got it from a fast-food chain, Panera Bread got your back. In addition, their menu is pretty big and it has something for everyone.
However, if you still need more convincing to give this chain a try, allow us to give you 12 fun facts about the brand that might just get you to give them a go.
1. They bake their bread daily.
We know, we mentioned this already above but it’s really worth noting. There are no day-old stale breads from this chain as they bake their bread daily. They have lots of locations with bakeries, so you can even get them straight out of the oven if you can work out the store’s schedule.
2. They’re committed to providing great food.
Panera Bread is so serious about the food they serve that they make sure to train their bakers well to guarantee that they’ll always churn out high-quality breads. Their food development staff also take bi-yearly retreats to taste and sample new dishes that can inspire them to create new offerings.
3. They introduced quite a few firsts.
They may not serve the most unique and inventive dishes in the market but they have their fair share of game-changing gimmicks in the past. For starters, they were one of the first to offer free wifi to diners. They actually became one of the biggest providers of free wifi at some point.
Another thing they pioneered is the listing of calorie count on their menu. They were among the first chains to make the calorie information available for their food items in their stores. This was after the chain was hailed as the healthiest fast food restaurant by the Health magazine in 2009.
4. They support many meaningful causes and give back to their communities.
It’s not new for restaurants and chains to have their own charitable efforts so it’s not shocking that Panera Bread does a lot to give back. Aside from donating their unsold breads and baked goods at the end of the day to help feed the hungry and minimize food waste, they also support local nonprofits in various ways.
5. Their secret menu is packed with healthy options.
With secret menus being all the rage right now in chain restaurant dining, Panera Bread made its mark by offering healthier options instead of taking the indulgent route like its competitors. This allowed the chain to flourish and establish itself better as a great alternative to greasy fast food.
6. Not all Panera stores carry the name.
Since Panera Bread started as the St. Louis Bread chain, the brand decided not to rename some of its stores in the St. Louis area. This allowed them to appeal to the nostalgia of the local customers who were already around since before Panera became Panera.
7. Panera Bread sells a lot of bread.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but Panera sells a whole lot of bread. The averages they sell in a year are around 240 million bagels and 150 million loaves of bread.
8. They play classical music in their stores.
Not a big fan of loud, upbeat music when dining out? Panera sets the tone differently by playing classical music inside their stores.
9. You don’t have to order a large-sized drink if you’re dining in.
Not everyone is aware that you can enjoy free refills for most fountain beverages in their stores. Take advantage of this and you’ll surely be able to stretch your buck when you dine in.
10. Keep an eye out for their promotions.
Panera Bread often has promotional gimmicks that will let you save some money when dining in. So if you like to frequent their stores anyway, why not keep your eyes peeled for the deals they’re offering?
11. You can whip up your own version of Panera dishes at home.
Recreating Panera Bread’s dishes at home with a certain degree of accuracy isn’t too complicated. Aside from the popular copycat recipes available online, they also share some of their own recipes on their website. Pair these with their Panera at Home products that you can get from major supermarket chains or use the very same ingredients they use in their restaurants that you can pick up in their stores or have delivered with your Panera order and you can definitely enjoy a Panera Bread feast at home.
12. Not because they’re known for healthier fare does it mean that you can’t indulge yourself with their offerings.
Sure, they offer a lot of healthy menu items but they also have lots of comfort food dishes that you might feel a bit guilty having every now and then. They do serve some soups on bread bowls which amount to more than a thousand calories in one serving. So on every visit, you still have an option to be nice to your waistline or gorge yourself with some cozy and homey dishes.