Panera Named Employer of Choice for Second Straight Year

Sample article from our Food & Beverage

May 9, 2024 (press release) –

Download PDF

ST. LOUIS, May 9, 2024  – Panera, LLC (“Panera”) is proud to announce that for the second consecutive year, the company has received the Employer of Choice award in the fast-casual restaurant segment from Black Box Intelligence™, a leading provider of restaurant industry data and insights. The Employer of Choice award is based on workforce data and recognizes Panera’s low hourly and management turnover rates, competitive compensation and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“When our team members are happy, our guests are happy, and we are focused on our employees’ experience through business training, education on leadership and life skills, ways to serve the community and more,” said KJ Payette, Chief People Officer, Panera Bread. “We’re committed to maintaining our company as an employer of choice in fast casual and to ensuring Panera is a place of warmth, belonging, growth and trust for all.”

Panera has invested heavily in capability building, training and recognition programs and Panera’s General Manager (GM) turnover rates are one of the lowest in the restaurant industry. Panera GMs have a tenure of over nine years on average and are nearly 98% internal promotes, reflecting the company’s unwavering commitment to development and growth.* 

The Employer of Choice recognition comes as Panera ushers in a new era with both a revamped menu focused on extensive guest input, but also an innovated operating model importantly grounded in feedback from Panera bakery-cafe team members.  Through a simplified and more efficient operating model that streamlines Panera’s pantry of high-quality ingredients and reduces operational complexity, Panera team members can now more easily deliver a great guest experience faster and accurately, while achieving better consistency and quality any time of day.

“At Panera, we believe our General Managers are our most important leaders, and we aim to empower them to look after our team members who can in turn delight our guests,” said Debbie Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Panera Bread.  “We believe that our approach improves operator performance and quality, bolsters management retention and fosters team stability, which results in a higher level of consistency and guest service within our bakery-cafes.”

Panera’s new menu is designed to create more value for guests, offering more new salads and sandwiches, more new options below $10**, and more in every bite with additional chicken and steak on many menu items. For more information on Panera’s new menu featuring nine all-new items and 12 enhanced classics, along with the addition of iconic flavors like ranch and balsamic – visit or download the Panera app today.

*These statistics are based on Panera’s 2023 internal data General Manager and non-management turnover and the restaurant industry’s 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles from Black Box Intelligence data.

**Participating cafes only. Prices vary by item. Menu price for delivery is higher and other fees apply. Catering excluded. Other restrictions apply.

About Panera Bread

Our first bakery-cafe opened in 1987, founded with a secret sourdough starter and the belief that the best part of bread is sharing it. That vision led to the invention of the Fast Casual category with Panera at the forefront, serving as America’s kitchen table centered around our delicious menu of chef-curated recipes that are crafted with care by our team members. We make food that we are proud to serve our own families, from crave-worthy soups, salads and sandwiches to mac and cheese and sweets. Each recipe is filled with ingredients we feel good about and none of those we don’t because we are committed to serving our guests food that feels good in the moment and long after. While our company is now nearly 2,200 bakery-cafes strong, our values and belief in the lasting power of a great meal remain as strong as ever. We spend each day filling bellies, building empowered teams and inspiring communities. Nothing beats breaking bread together.

As of March 26, 2024 there were 2,180 bakery-cafes, company and franchise, in 48 states and Washington D.C., and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co.® names. Panera Bread is part of Panera Brands, one of the largest fast casual restaurant companies in the U.S., comprised of Panera Bread®, Caribou Coffee® and Einstein Bros.® Bagels. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook ( Instagram (@panerabread) or TikTok (@panerabread).

Media Contacts:

Panera PR

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

More from our Food & Beverage Coverage
See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Chelsey Quick
Chelsey Quick
- VP Client Success -

We offer built-to-order food & beverage coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve your website experience and provide more personalized services to you, both on this website and through other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy. We won't track your information when you visit our site. But in order to comply with your preferences, we'll have to use just one tiny cookie so that you're not asked to make this choice again.