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Panera Bread launches curbside pick-up with geofencing to enhance customer experience

Expanded Wi-Fi, geofencing speeds up pick-up time

Panera Bread launched a new service to upgrade the curbside experience for customers, including enabling geofencing technology. Mostly used by retailers and non-food businesses, geofencing offers the ability to market to and communicate with customers based on their proximity. By expanding Wi-Fi coverage and launching geofencing capabilities, Panera will know when customers arrive to pick up their orders. The process aims to speed up curbside pick-up for customers.

To celebrate Panera Curbside enhancements, the JAB holdings affiliate-owned fast casual offers its guests $5 off any $20 orders. The special promotion, activated with the discount code CURBSIDES, expires May 31, 2020. Panera, which has invested considerable sums in digital ordering and technology, looks to reduce friction for customers.

First, customers will place their order on the Panera app or online. Next, they will instruct Panera in the instructions field vehicle information so it can be easily identified when they arrive. And finally, when customers arrive, they should turn on the app and press the “I’m here” button to signal they are ready to be serviced.

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“In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are,” said Niren Chaudhary, chief executive of Panera. “Our latest technology and Wi-Fi capabilities, combined with enhanced protective measures at bakery-cafes, make Panera Curbside a frictionless way to continue to enjoy the Panera experience you know and love.”

Furthermore, like many restaurant chains, Panera has been emphasizing safety and sanitation steps to engender greater customer trust during the health crisis. The fast-casual chain announced these processes, provided here in its own description:

  • Enhanced cleaning and handwashing procedures in all bakery-cafes
  • Ongoing plexiglass barrier installations in Panera cafes + drive-thru’s
  • Masks distributed to and worn by all associates
  • Hand sanitizer available in all cafes at each entryway
  • Social distancing measures clearly articulated in each cafe with signage / floor decals
  • Thermometers at all cafes to enable thorough pre-shift wellness checks
  • Social distance enabled between our ordering kiosks and adding anti-microbial screens
  • Contactless curbside pickup and delivery options for customers

Photo credit: Panera Bread

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