Panera to open first redesigned next-gen cafe in Ballwin

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ST. LOUIS– Panera unveiled its next-generation Panera bakery-cafe restaurant design and the first one will open this November in Ballwin.

These changes include enhanced digital capabilities, personalized options, and more drive-thru access to create more off-premise options.

Panera is still betting on dine-in business with comfortable seating around its signature fireplace and a focus on its unique craft bakery experience within a vibrant, warm and welcoming environment.

“We’re doubling down on what has always made Panera unique—creating human connection through caring associates and a warm, inviting environment filled with the smell of freshly-baked bread—while continuing to be a leader in digital access for the off-premise world,” Eduardo Luz, Chief Brand & Concept Officer, Panera Bread.

The store will have these updates:

  • Craft Bakery Experience – Each night, bakers in every Panera bake bread and bakery items fresh. Now, Panera is moving the bakery-cafe ovens to be in full view of the guests, so they can fully immerse themselves in the experience of baking happening throughout the day.
  • Dual-Drive Thru with Dedicated Rapid Pick-Up Lane – Panera aims to significantly increase its locations with drive-thru and the new concept features a double-lane drive thru, with one lane dedicated specifically to the brand’s signature Rapid Pick-Up service.
  • Enhanced Digital Experience – Already a leader in the digital guest experience, the new Panera concept will feature new digital innovations including contactless dine-in and delivery, updated ordering kiosks, automatic loyalty identification, and a fully digitized menu both in-cafe and in drive-thru.
  • Contactless Ordering – This new service will allow guests who choose a fully contactless experience to easily order their meal from their own phone for dine-in, Rapid Pick-Up, drive-thru or delivery. Once the order is made, guests are notified via mobile notifications when their food is ready, minimalizing interaction with cashiers, kiosks, paper receipts or pagers.
  • Refreshed Brand Identity – The next-generation bakery-cafes will introduce an updated Panera Bread logo and brand identity, unveiled in 2021. The refreshed Panera “Mother Bread” logo is a nod to Panera Bread’s more than 30-year-old sourdough starter from which all of its sourdough bread is still made today.
  • Intuitive Guest Journey – A core focus of the next-generation design has been improving the guest journey and making it more intuitive. This includes deploying clear and concise wayfinding on the exterior of the cafe and refining how the guest routes through the cafe after entering the front door – from experiencing our bakery, ordering (either through a traditional register or a digital kiosk) and picking up their food. Guest convenience is one of the highest priorities of the new design.

PRNewswire contributed content to this story

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