Panera Bread Careers and Franchise (Pay, Apply, Hiring Details)

Panera Bread Locations

Panera Bread Careers

There are any benefits to Panera Bread careers, not least of which is the fact that you get to eat free food from one of the best chains out there. The pay is also okay, there are plenty of jobs available and there is a lot of potential for promotion. In chains like this they always value employees who have plenty of experience and will always promote them ahead of those with no experience and plenty of qualifications.

The reason this is so important is that it gives opportunities to people who have failed to get qualifications, have dropped out of school, or don’t have any skills needed to excel in certain trades. They can take entry level jobs and then get promoted through the ranks until they are a high-ranking supervisor, manager or store manager. From there, they may even be able to get their own Panera Bread franchise, although as discussed below, that’s not as easy here as it is with other fast food chains.

Panera Bread Application

You can submit an application online, in store or through a site like SnagaJob. It’s always best to submit in person, as that way you can avoid the virtual slush pile. Contrary to what you might think, fast food chains have no shortage of applicants. They have a high staff turnover rate and there are many locations to staff, so there is always something available, but there are plenty of potential employees trying to fill these roles.

That’s why it’s best to hand over your CV in person. Show them that you are dedicated, committed, enthusiastic and hard-working. Be extroverted, not introverted; forward, not shy. That’s the sort of employee they want working for a customer-centric business like Panera Bread.

Once you get to the interview stage, you should keep these things in mind as you answer the following questions. These may or may not be asked, as each location is different, but they have been asked during many different Panera Bread locations at some point or another:

  • Do you know much about the company?
  • What are your goals in life?
  • What’s your experience in this industry?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What do you like most about Panera Bread?
  • Are you a reliable worker?
  • What makes you a good fit?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Who Owns Panera Bread?

Panera Bread is a publicly traded company, which means that a significant portion of the company is owned by individual investors and stockholders. The CEO of Panera Bread is Ron Shaich, they hire close to 50,000 employees across the United States and they generate revenue in excess of $2.6 billion a year.

Panera Bread Controversies

As with all chains, Panera Bread has had a few controversial moments in its three-decade long history. One of the most publicized cases involving Panera Bread occurred in 2016 when a staff member put peanut butter on a sandwich, even though the customer had told them they were allergic to nuts.

The customer was hospitalized following this incident, and a similar incident occurred just one month later. This generated a lot of negative press for Panera Bread, although many customers were happy to put the blame on the recklessness and callousness of a single individual and the company came out of this fairly unscathed.

Does Panera Bread Drug Test?

Most employees we have spoken to have told us that they have not experienced drug tests. It seems that they don’t drug test during any stage of employment and they do not require such a test during the interview stage either. However, while this seems to apply to the majority of Panera Bread locations it may not apply to all of them. Your chances of being asked to submit a sample or undergo a monitored test will also increase as you are promoted through the ranks with Panera Bread careers.

Does Panera Bread Have WiFi?

Yes! There is Wi-Fi at Panera Bread and it’s free. In fact, while many chains are now clambering over themselves to offer free Wi-Fi to get ahead of their rivals, Panera Bread have been offering it for over 10 years now. They were well ahead in this department and are up there with chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts in terms of the quality of the Wi-Fi that they offer and the length of time they have offered it for.

Is Panera Bread a Franchise?

Panera Bread Franchise

Yes! There are many company owned Panera Bread locations, but they also franchise a number of them. You can become part of the chain by licensing your own Panera Bread franchise, but be prepared to pay a sizable franchise fee and to have a lot of liquid assets to back you up if you do.

Not all franchise applications are accepted. In many ways a franchise application is like a job interview, in that you need to fulfill a certain list of criteria, jump through a few hoops and then cross your fingers and hope. If you have the dedication, the experience and the money, then you should be a dead-cert, but it will be a challenge if you’re short on all of those things.

Panera Bread Franchise

You can not open a single Panera Bread franchise as they do not deal in single units. This is one of the many restrictions in place with a Panera Bread franchise and one that helps to ensure they grow at pace while dealing with a minimal amount of applicants. It’s far from a common model, but it is one that has been used to great effect elsewhere as well.

You need to be committed to opening a dozen or more Panera Bread units within a 5 to 6 year period. That’s not all either, as you also need to pay the franchise fee and you need to have the money, the experience and the planning to back your application up. The areas in which Panera Bread are a little more restrictive than other franchises include the experience that they require. Many franchises are happy to take a chance if you have the money and enthusiasm, but Panera Bread require you to have experience operating multiple-unit restaurants.

They also require you to have received recognition as a top restaurant operator. The financials are a little higher than traditional chains as well. To open your own Panera Bread franchise you must have at least $3 million in liquid assets, with a net worth of at least $7.5 million. You must also have the resources and the infrastructure to meet their development schedule, as well as a complete commitment to the Panera Bread brand.

How to Get a Panera Bread Franchise

Panera Bread Hiring

If you meet the above criteria and are prepared to send a franchise application in, then visit the official Panera Bread Franchise page. Here you will find information pertaining to a multi-unit franchise application in the United States and internationally. There seems to be an equal chance of getting a franchise in the US and outside of it. There is a lot of competition domestically and while the number of applicants are more here, it’s only because this chain has yet to truly become a world renowned, internationally recognized brand.

So, if you live overseas, if you meet that criteria and you understand this brand, then they will likely be very happy to let you come aboard and to help them grow Panera Bread all over the world.