Panera Bread: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Panera Bread is one of the most popular cafes and bakeries in the United States. However, despite the fact that the chain has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Panera Bread. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: It Wasn’t Always Panera Bread

In fact, Panera’s founders started Au Bon Pain before beginning Panera. The founders subsequently bought Saint Louis Bread Company with the intention of expanding it under the Panera name; however, they eventually sold ABP to focus solely on Panera because it was growing so quickly.

Number Fourteen: Some Locations Go by Other Names

Because Panera was originally the Saint Louis Bread Company, some of its locations in St. Louis are still called Saint Louis Bread Company. Who knew?

Number Thirteen: It Owns Paradise Bakery

You may have eaten in a Panera without ever realizing it! The company also owns Paradise Bakery, which has an almost identical menu.

Number Twelve: The Food Development Staff Travels to Taste New Food Every Year

Twice a year, Panera’s food development team goes to the Adirondacks to try new dishes. In fact, all staff meetings at Panera begin with a literal breaking of bread.

Number Eleven: At the Peak of Its Expansion, a New Store Was Opening Every Five Days

It’s true! Panera was growing so rapidly at one point that a new location opened in the United States every five days – that’s an expansion rate of 31.5 percent.

Number Ten: Fresh Bread Is Delivered to Every Location Every Single Day

It might sound excessive, but it’s true. Because the company truly loves bread and appreciates the quality so much, it has fresh bread delivered to every single location every single morning.

Number Nine: It Goes Through 140 Million Pounds of Flour Every Year

Panera Bread sells an impressive 150 million loaves of bread every year. On top of the 240 million bagels it annually sells, that means it requires 140 million pounds of flour to support its sales. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Panera Bread, coming soon!