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Panera named employer of choice for second straight year

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

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ST. LOUIS, USA – Panera, LLC (“Panera”) announced that for the second consecutive year, the company has 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.

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“When our team members are happy, our guests are happy, and we are focused on our employees’ experience through business training, education on leadership and life skills, ways to serve the community and more,” said KJ Payette, Chief People Officer, Panera Bread. “We’re committed to maintaining our company as an employer of choice in fast casual and to ensuring Panera is a place of warmth, belonging, growth and trust for all.”

Panera has invested heavily in capability building, training and recognition programs and Panera’s General Manager (GM) turnover rates are 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.*

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The Employer of Choice recognition comes as Panera ushers in a new era with both a revamped menu focused on extensive guest input, but also an innovated operating model importantly grounded in feedback from Panera bakery-cafe team members. Through a simplified and more efficient operating model that streamlines Panera’s pantry of high-quality ingredients and reduces operational complexity, Panera team members can now more easily deliver a great guest experience faster and accurately, while achieving better consistency and quality any time of day.

“At Panera, we believe our General Managers are our most important leaders, and we aim to empower them to look after our team members who can in turn delight our guests,” said Debbie Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Panera Bread. “We believe that our approach improves operator performance and quality, bolsters management retention and fosters team stability, which results in a higher level of consistency and guest service within our bakery-cafes.”

*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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