Essay about Case Study: Panera Bread Company

Essay about Case Study: Panera Bread Company

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According to the Panera Bread website (2011), the company mission is simply “A loaf of bread in every arm.” (para 7).
Panera Bread Company is a bakery-café that serves specialty sandwiches, gourmet soups, and sweet treats. The founders of Panera, Shaich and Kane, have consistently developed the company around a strategy of growth. The Shaich and Kane initially operated Au Bon Pain; a bakery served large urban areas. Seeking to extend into other markets, the pair obtained St. Louis Bread Company, seeing the benefits of acquiring an already established enterprise. The niche market that Au Bon Pain had enjoyed previously, had become a strategic weakness as it became limiting. The bakery-café culture developed in the St. Louis Bread Company was too costly to implement at the Au Bon Pain locations. Shaich, the remaining founder, sold Au Bon Pain which left no debt and cash reserves to expand the St. Louis Bread Company, known as Panera Bread Company outside the St. Louis area.
According to Wheelen & Hunger (2010), Panera management believed that its specialty bakery-café concept had significant growth potential, which it hoped to realize through a combination of owned, franchised, and joint venture-operated stores. Franchising was a key component of the company’s growth strategy. (p. 29-10).
Demand for Panera franchising opportunities was very high, which allowed Panera to be picky about where and with whom they would do business. Panera determined where bakery-café locations could be. The franchisees bore the cost of opening new locations, and were required to obtain their ingredients from the home company. Expansion using the franchise model provided many upside benefits for Panera, while limiting the downside r...

... middle of paper ...

...d research and development with regard to menu items. Offering dinner menu items and consistently updating seasonal items has proven to be beneficial to Panera.
Panera seems poised to continue to dominate the bakery-café market and continued sustainable growth is very likely.

Works Cited

“Annual Report.” (2010). Retrieved from
“Company Overview.” (2011). Retrieved from
“News Release.” (2010). Retrieved from
Rockwood, Kate. (2009, October). Rising Dough. Fast Company,(139), 69-70,73,16. Retrieved from
Research Library. (Document ID: 1870795761).
Wheelen, Thomas L. & Hunger, J. David, (2010). Strategic management and business policy:
achieving sustainability.(12th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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