Bakers Journal

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Panera Bread running test bakery in full view of public


May 13, 2014
By Bakers Journal

May 13, 2014, St. Louis, MO – Panera Bread
Company has opened a new test bakery facility in New Haven, Conn., where it is
testing products and experimenting with staffing models in full view of
customers during the day.

May 13, 2014, St. Louis, MO – Panera Bread
Company has opened a new test bakery facility in New Haven, Conn., where it is
testing products and experimenting with staffing models in full view of
customers during the day.

The goal for the company, which has bakeries across the United States and in Ontario, is to enhance the bakery side of
the company’s business.

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“Panera began with bread,” explained Tom
Gumpel, Panera’s head baker, in a news release. “It’s our passion, soul and
expertise. Our test bakery is an example of our continued focus on our identity
as bakers, as we push ourselves to keep learning how best to lay out, staff and
operate our bakeries.”

Panera is studying the test location to
understand how updated products and staffing models could affect its nearly
1,800 bakery-cafes.

Several innovations are already planned to
roll out across the chain this year. A new sprouted grain bread offering,
currently testing at the New Haven bakery, will be available in all Panera
locations as a bagel flat beginning in May.

Staffing models that allow bakers more
customer interaction during the day are also planned to roll out system-wide
this year. In the meantime, the brand remains committed to baking fresh bread
at all locations.

On May 7, the bakery-cafe company
introduced a lineup of flatbread sandwiches. In test for more than a year, the
flatbread itself is the company’s take on traditional Indian naan with fillings
inspired by the global travels of Gumpel and Panera’s head chef, Dan Kish.


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