Panera: A Decline in Customer Experience

Panera CEO fixing poor café experience – Panera Bread’s CEO, Ronald Shaich, told investors, “We’ve directly surveyed our Customers, and the top reason they cite for coming less often is the diminished in-café experience.” Slow lines and inaccurate orders were prominent among Panera Customer complaints.

*TDG Disappoints [related article]

Panera 2.0 Customer Experience – After listening to its Customers and making the Customer experience a top company priority, Panera Bread has launched Panera 2.0− a series of integrated technologies to enhance the guest experience for all consumers no matter how they choose to use Panera. “Panera 2.0 is an investment in the Customer enabled by technology and powered by operational excellence,” Shaich said in a release. “We believe it will reduce friction such as wait times, improve order accuracy, and minimize or eliminate crowding−all while creating a platform for an even more personalized experience.” Panera is focusing on personalization. It enables a differentiated food experience−when and where you want it−from customized menus and tailored content to offers through the MyPanera loyalty program. Some features of Panera 2.0 are:

  • Advanced To-Go Ordering: An ordering option called Rapid Pick-Up enables Customers to place an online/mobile order from their office, car, work or home−up to five days in advance−and pick up their food at a pre-determined time without waiting in line.
  • Order from Your Table for Dine-In: An in-cafe dining enhancement that allows Customers to place an online/mobile order from anywhere within the bakery-cafe and have the meal delivered directly to their table.
  • Fast Lane Kiosks for Dine-In and To-Go Orders: A new way to order in-cafe from iPad® kiosks. Kiosks are available in addition to cashier stations so that wait time is reduced for all guests. The kiosk is highly visual and includes a product builder to assist with order accuracy and customization.
  • Customized Ordering: At the kiosks, and through the web or mobile app, guests can save customizations, past orders, and “favorites” for easy ordering on their next visit. And, when linked to the MyPanera Loyalty program and a credit card, it creates a frictionless and faster experience for users.

Negative Cues – It amazes me how many businesses treat potential Customers so poorly (read and distribute to your entire management team these past two eServices Everything Speaks & Foot Traffic Pays Off if you Trust). Don’t punish 98% of your Customers for what you are afraid 2% might do

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.