ST. LOUIS, MO/April 27, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Panera Bread Company – Sunset Hills based Panera Bread will hire 10,000 new employees nationwide by the end of 2017 as the company expands into delivery service.
Most of the new hires will be delivery drivers. One-fourth will be jobs in the cafes, according to Panera management. It’s estimated that each café will hire seven to 12 new employees as delivery is expanded to 35 percent of its locations.
Panera says the initiative is a way to close a gap in the variety of food offered for delivery. In many communities, only pizza or Chinese food are delivered to homes or businesses.
Stores already offering the delivery service have seen an average of $5,000 in additional sales. Minimum order amount is $5 with a $3 delivery fee added on.
Panera is using an Uber-style model for the delivery system, with drivers using their own vehicles. The chain has also developed a new order tracking system that allows customers to see the expected delivery time, a map of the driver’s progress and a photograph of the driver.
Panera forecasts the addition of the delivery service will add $250,000 per year to each store’s annual revenue of $2.6 million.
Panera was recently acquired by JAB Holding in a deal valued at about $7.5 billion. JAB also owns other brands in the food sector, including Keurig Green Mountain and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Shares of Panera rose about 45 percent over the past 12 months, with the first quarter of 2017 its “best quarter in four years,” according to a company spokesperson.
Contributor Editor: Kathy Bratkowski