Panera Bread Co.

Panera’s goal is to become the leader in the “fast casual” restaurant category. They plan on achieving this by rapid expansion and building brand recognition. The way in which Panera plans on doing this is by emphasizing its artisan made breads and other signature menu items at a fair price. Also Panera offers meal choices that span the three meal categories from breakfast to dinner. Again with these meals they emphasize the healthy choices at a good value. To complete the advantage Panera Bread Co. is seeking they strive for aesthetically pleasing café’s that provide courteous and efficient customer service.

What does a SWOT analysis of Panera Bread reveal about the overall attractiveness of its situation?

Exhibit 7 shows that the three categories are consistent in the amounts each is accountable for. The company bakery-café operations is the source of the largest expenditures by a large margin. In the same respect those operations are also responsible for the largest revenues for the company. Due to the large spending by the Company bakery-café operations their totals for depreciation and amortization are much greater than any other category. Also franchise operations account for large parts of the revenues as well as segment profits.

This seems reasonable since many of the Panera Bread locations are franchisee owned and operated paying percentages to the parent company. I did however find it interesting to see how much the Fresh Dough operations accounted for. The Fresh Dough operations accounted for more revenue than did the franchise operations. I did also notice that corporate administration accounted for a large part in capital expenditures. These large amounts would lead me to look at the corporate pay scale to see if they were within industry norms.

What does Panera Bread need to do to strengthen its competitive position and business prospects vis-à-vis other restaurant chain rivals?

•Panera Bread needs to make people aware of their presence. Their locations always seemed to be tucked away in a plaza or obscure location that does not lend itself to people passing by. Along this same topic Panera needs to advertise more. Along with their hidden locations there are very few radio or TV ads. People tend to go to places with repetitive advertising especially if their locations are easily accessible. •To assist in their wish to expand they may want to consider lowering their requirements for people looking to franchise. Some of their criteria make it very unlikely for individuals or groups to invest in the company because of specialization in the industry.