ST. LOUIS, MO/June 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Digital innovations seems to be paying off for Panera Bread Company.
The St. Louis-based company announced that digital sales have surpassed $1 billion on an annualized basis and could double in 2019. As of the end of Q1 2017, system-wide digital sales, which include orders made via mobile, web, or kiosk, were 26 percent of total company sales.
“By building digital into the core aspects of our business, we’ve transformed the customer journey at Panera,” said Ron Shaich, Panera’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.
“For us, it’s not just about new technology for technology’s sake—it’s about making the guest experience better.” Shaich added.
Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president, shares in this belief that technology is benefiting the company and the restaurant experience for customers.
“When you couple digital innovation with operational integrity, the result is a significant level of digital adoption at the guest level. Our holistic approach to technology pushes us to find new ways to make a difference in the lives of guests – which translates to the kinds of sales we’re seeing today.” Hurst explained.
Panera’s digital ordering integrates with MyPanera®, the restaurant industry’s largest loyalty program with more than 25 million members. Panera reports that this translates into approximately 1.2 million digital orders per week. Through MyPanera, customers are able to save their favorites, earn and track rewards, and receive personalized special offers.
On April 25, Panera reported its first-quarter earnings of $1.83 a share on revenue of $728 million.
“Indeed, the power of our plan is evident in our business results. In Q1, our Company-owned bakery-cafe comps were up 5.3%. What’s more, we continued to take market share in Q1, as our comps outperformed the Black Box all-industry composite by 690 basis points. With peak investments and significant scale behind us, our year-over-year growth in GAAP EPS 2 was up 30% and non-GAAP EPS was up 17% in Q1, our best quarter in four years, which is further evidence that we have reached an inflection point in our transformation.” Shaich.
This comes after Panera and JAB announced its definitive merger agreement in early April.