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Panera Bread unveils reimagined restaurant design for a contactless, order-ahead future

New cafe concept design to land in Ballwin, Missouri

The new, next-generation Panera Bread concept design is slated to roll out in November. Amplifying its digital capabilities, the St. Louis, Mo.-based fast-casual chain aims to bring more personalized options and augmented drive-thru access to customers. The new store, launching in Ballwin, Mo., will be just 22 miles from the bakery-cafe chain’s hometown.

Panera Bread will also enhance the in-restaurant experience, while striking a warm and welcoming ambiance.

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In the new restaurant design, cafes will have dual drive-thru lanes with a dedicated Rapid Pick-Up Lane. Each drive thru will emphasize the dedicated lane to promote Rapid Pick-Up.

Panera is also upping the ante on the digital experience inside restaurants with what it terms “contactless dine-in,” and also enhanced kiosk ordering and automatic loyalty identification. Digital menu boards will also be a signature item inside cafes and in the drive-thru.

Restaurant delivery will be another guest experience Panera executives hope to improve.

As part of brand refresh, Panera Bread has upgraded its logo with a “Mother Bread” design, paying homage to the history of the bakery-cafe chain and the 30-year-old sourdough starter. The new design was unveiled this year.

Panera Bread’s new design will better accommodate a growing digital-ordering and order-ahead business. Photo by Panera Bread.

The fast-casual chain will also make it easier for customers to journey through the restaurants, better-identifying the path for those looking to order on kiosk versus customers wanting to order with the chain’s team members.

Eduardo Luz, chief brand & concept officer for Panera Bread, commented, “We’re doubling down on what has always made Panera unique—creating human connection through caring associates and a warm, inviting environment filled with the smell of freshly-baked bread—while continuing to be a leader in digital access for the off-premise world.”

ChangeUp helped design the next-generation Panera Bread concept.

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