O’FALLON, Mo. – Panera might be replacing its St. Louis Bread Co. signs at some local stores soon. The stores in St. Louis City and County will remain branded as “St. Louis Bread Co.” But, other locations in the region will probably be switching to the name Panera.
The signage of “St. Louis Bread Co.” at the O’Fallon Center has been changed to one reading “Panera Bread.” Some frustrated St. Louisans weighed in on the change Wednesday via Reddit.
Managers at the O’Fallon location, which stands in the 1300 block of Highway K, say a temporary Panera sign has been up since Aug. 18.
“Customers keep complaining,” said manager Alicia Pilger, but she explained there is nothing that they can do about it.
Pilger understands that the customers want the sign to say St. Louis Bread Co. to mark the chain’s roots in the Gateway City. The store has expanded into large franchise over the last several decades. Despite
“I pass this daily. Regardless of what you think of the food establishment, you can’t help but get mournful at the attempt to tape a new logo on top of the rotting corpse of the old one,” said one Reddit user who goes by the name of Bzach74.
To another Reddit user, the name change seemed more personal to them since they grew up in St. Louis.
“When I drove by, it was quite a shock. It was a point of pride for Panera to still be St. Louis Bread Co. in the local market,” said a Reddit user, Danielle. “It feels as if they’ve abandoned their roots and would rather not be associated with St. Louis, even to St. Louisans.”
Danielle said they understood where the company was coming from a marketing standpoint.
“As someone in marketing, I get it. But as someone born and raised in the area, it still feels like a slap in the face,” Danielle said.
Some commenters were outraged stating that only tourists all St. Louis Bread Co. Panera while others spoke about the quality of the food.
“Well. I suppose I’m so over them that I don’t care anymore,” said a person who goes by Andy commented on the Reddit thread. “The old school St. Louis Bread Co. quality and service is gone, and in its place is insultingly overpriced low quality food and poor service. Panera is now a better name for it. It’s no longer deserving of the St. Louis Bread Co. name.”
The comments that were popular on the Reddit thread, stated that these potential customers were more concerned about the quality than the actual renaming of the franchise.
Correction: This story originally stated that all locations would change their signs. Panera has cleared up the confusion. They say that only locations outside of St. Louis City and County will be rebranded.