St. Louis — Panera Bread has unveiled a new restaurant design featuring increased drive-thru and pickup access, technological offerings including contactless meal pickup and an updated dine-in experience in response to COVID-19.
The company is the latest chain to announce a refreshed design adapted to the changing needs of consumers during the pandemic. The first next-generation Panera Bread is set to open in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin this November and will include:
- an open kitchen with ovens in full view of restaurant guests;
- dual drive-thru and dedicated rapid pickup lanes in order to enhance the dine-out process;
- the addition of contactless dine-in and delivery options with mobile notifications to guests when their meals are prepared;
- updated ordering kiosks and automated loyalty identification;
- a fully-digitized menu;
- the introduction of an updated Panera Bread logo;
- and an enhanced interior design with increased wayfinding to exterior seating at the cafe.
“We’re doubling down on what has always made Panera unique — creating human connection through caring associates and a warm, inviting environment filled with the smell of freshly-baked bread — while continuing to be a leader in digital access for the off-premise world,” says Eduardo Luz, chief brand and concept officer at the St. Louis-based company.
Panera worked with design agency BrandOpus to develop the company’s updated brand identity and logo, and ChangeUp to design the next-generation Panera restaurant concept. Further plans for a rollout of the new concept have not been announced.
As of April 27, there were 2,118 Panera Bread locations operating across 48 states and in Ontario, Canada.