• Transform magazine
  • October 25, 2021

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Panera bread announces plans for new bakery-cafe design

Panera Nextgen Entry

Panera, a fast-casual restaurant chain in Canada and the U.S, worked with U.S branding agency ChangeUp to develop its new bakery-cafe restaurant design. The new restaurant focuses on enhanced digital capabilities, personalised options and more drive-thru access while also betting on dine-in with comfortable seating around its signature fireplace.

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The new restaurant design builds upon Panera’s innovation in digital, allowing the brand to thrive in off-premise channels like delivery apps. The next-generation bakery-cafes will introduce an updated Panera Bread logo and brand identity. The refreshed Panera ‘Mother Bread’ logo is a nod to Panera Bread’s more than 30-year-old sourdough starter.

“Innovation is core to who we are and with our new next-generation Panera concept, we are doing what we’ve always done- keeping a personalised experience for the guest at the heart of everything we do,” says Eduardo Luz, chief brand and concept officer Panera Bread.

The new bakery-cafe, which will open outside of Panera’s hometown of St Louis, will feature ovens in full view of the guests so they can fully immerse themselves in the experience of baking happening throughout the day. To increase its locations it will also include a double-lane drive thru with one lane dedicated specifically to the brand’s signature Rapid Pick-Up service.

It was imperative that the design felt rich and vibrant, while still making the guest feel like they were at home. That warmth is infused into material selection, digital integration, and by breaking down the barriers between the associates and guests. Meaningful innovation for the customer was a key driver, knowing that hospitality has always been core to the brand,” says Jamie Cornelius, executive creative director at ChangeUp.

The new Panera concept will also feature new digital innovations including contactless dine-in and delivery, updated ordering kiosks, automatic loyally identification and a fully digitised menu both in-cafe and in drive-thru.

A core focus on 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.