Tuesday 23 July 2024
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Panera Bread celebrates top leaders with second annual Upper Crust Awards

"Our bakery-cafe associates are the heart and soul of Panera Bread, working each day to provide an outstanding experience for our guests," said Debbie Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Panera Bread. "Through their dedication and leadership, they create the welcoming environment and delicious menu that our guests have come to expect. The Upper Crust program allows us to celebrate their incredible achievements and invest in their continued growth"

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ST. LOUIS, USA – Panera Bread is proud to spotlight and celebrate the second year of the Upper Crust program, an annual incentive trip designed to celebrate and reward top-performing General Managers (GMs), Operating Partners (OPs), and Directors of Retail Operations (DROs) while continuing their growth trajectory as company leaders.

The Upper Crust program recognizes individuals within Panera’s company-owned bakery-cafes who have not only achieved the highest levels of performance, but who also consistently embody an unwavering commitment to warmth, hospitality, and genuine brand passion that is uniquely Panera.

This program forms part of Panera’s comprehensive Total Rewards program for GMs, centered on career growth through professional and personal development opportunities. Nearly half of last year’s winners achieved this distinction for a second time in 2023.

“Our bakery-cafe associates are the heart and soul of Panera Bread, working each day to provide an outstanding experience for our guests,” said Debbie Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Panera Bread. “Through their dedication and leadership, they create the welcoming environment and delicious menu that our guests have come to expect. The Upper Crust program allows us to celebrate their incredible achievements and invest in their continued growth.”

The Upper Crust program rewards the leaders overseeing the top 10% of Panera’s company-owned bakery-cafes with an exclusive experience that fosters valuable networking and professional development opportunities through engaging keynote speakers, dedicated time with Panera’s leadership team, and exciting excursions balanced with moments of relaxation and celebration. Panera recently celebrated its 2023 winners on June 3-5, 2024 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Panera has invested heavily in capability building, training and recognition programs and Panera’s General Manager (GM) turnover rate is 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 of its number 1 leaders.*

In 2024, for the second consecutive year, Panera 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.

*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.

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