Monday, April 24, 2017

Panera hiring 10,000 workers, expanding its delivery service

The Panera Bread bakery-cafe chain today announced it will expand delivery service for 35 to 40% percent of its more than 2,036 restaurants by the end of the year, and add more than 10,000 in-store and delivery driver jobs.

By the end of 2016, the St. Louis-based chain said, it offered delivery in 15% of its units. The service, based on digital and mobile ordering, provides lunch and dinner to locations within an eight-minute drive of a restaurant.

“In many places across the country, all that’s available for delivery is pizza or Chinese food,” said, Ron Shaich, Panera chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We’re closing the gap in delivery alternatives and creating a way for people to have more options for real food delivered to their homes and workplaces.”

The announcement did not specify which markets would be added to the delivery program. That information will be released as the rollout is finalized. There are 13 Panera venues in the Greater Capital Region --  Latham, North Greenbush, Glenville, Niskyuna, Clifton Park, Colonie, Albany, Glenmont, Amsterdam, Malta, Guilderland (Crossgates Mall), Saratoga Springs and Queensbury.

Panera said it had experimented with hiring third-party delivery comanies, but now is hiring its own drivers, "the only way we could ensure that our delivery guests get the same high-quality experience they have come to expect from our bakery-cafes,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president.

Panera several weeks ago agreed to be purchased by JAB Holding Co. for $7.5 billion.
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