Panera Bread Reviews

Updated October 28, 2014
Updated October 28, 2014
1,321 Reviews
3.1
1,321 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Panera Bread CEO Ronald Shaich
Ronald Shaich
208 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get a discount on food and I met a lot of great people working there (in 94 reviews)

  • Decent wage and free food at the end of the day if the managers are nice (in 55 reviews)


Cons
  • Careless and lazy managers well as very low pay for amount of work that is needed (in 28 reviews)

  • A LOT of hardwork only to get paid a dollar more than minimum wage (in 51 reviews)

More Highlights

271 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Not worth it, in the end.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier/Barista in Sarasota, FL
    Current Employee - Cashier/Barista in Sarasota, FL

    I have been working at Panera Bread part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get lots of experience in a super fast paced environment. The co-workers are super nice. Most of the everyday people are really nice. They come in get their coffee and read for a bit. It's nice to get 50% off meals. Free bagels were a plus.

    Cons

    For what you do it's the pay is just not enough. The lines are insane at peak hours. If you are on dish and its busy be prepared to get behind to go ring. Sometimes you are on two maybe even three positions at a time. that is quite a lot and things stack up fast. Raises are hard to come by. I have been with Panera and am still making starting pay. The scheduling is atrocious and made work more difficult. A lot of short staffing because of bad scheduling.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good for a first job when you don't know what else is out there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Panera Bread

    Pros

    -Discounted food
    -Free drinks/coffee
    -Friendly staff
    -Easy work
    -Long shifts

    Cons

    -Low pay, no tips
    -Long shifts also a con being that the work gets mind numbingly tedious; by the end of my shift I'm always half delirious and making silly mess ups. Also, they always give you your break 2 hours or less into your shift, so you end up working 7 hours straight without a break
    -They tell you they'll train you in 3 parts of the store so you're "always doing something different" but that's a lie. They train you in dining and then either line, kitchen, register or keep you in dining and good luck trying to train in something else once they've stuck you somewhere. I was in dining for maybe 2 days and have been in register since then and that's probably the worst position to have so avoid for your own good.
    -Uniform is ridiculous; have to get a collared shirt but it has to be colorful and bright-no navy, black, burgundy, white, brown, or gray, as every single polo shirt they seem to make is.
    -Customers are obnoxious, especially if you're new and don't know their super exclusive "special" order
    -Spend the first month after hiring you pretty much selling you the company, which gets exhausting. You have to go to Planet Bread which is pretty much a 4 hr long class on Panera, and although you get free food, mine was in a completely different city and wasn't worth the hassle

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Underpaid and unappreciated .

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Trainer in Triadelphia, WV
    Current Employee - Associate Trainer in Triadelphia, WV

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I loved my coworkers and the way we all worked as a big family.

    Cons

    Managers didn't care about the opinions of the associates. The ones that tried didn't get any credit, the whole store is one unorganized mess full of drama. It's like reliving high school all over again. Constant call offs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start being more appreciative of the associates that actually work their hardest for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's okay...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Associate in Saint Paul, MN

    I have been working at Panera Bread part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Nice co workers, great team work, 65% discount on working days, & most customers are nice and friendly.

    Cons

    Scheduled more days than I wanted; especially hard on me during week days because I'm still in high school. Closers get the worst shifts with more cleaning duty; latest I've stayed was 11:45 on a weekday. Annoying when co-workers always call off their shifts and ask me to cover for them. Managers and boss care more about the sales than the employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Come for the paycheck, stay for the people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Cashier in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Most people that I work with are great people that are easy to get along with, the food is also delicious.

    Cons

    Management chronically understaffs to meet their labor targets, rude customers, only 50% employee discount.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Schedule more associates, especially for lunch rush. Make raises automatic after 3 months, publish the schedule more than a few hours in advance of the next week starting (it usually comes out late Sunday.)

    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Too much work for one person.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Trainer in East Brunswick, NJ
    Current Employee - Associate Trainer in East Brunswick, NJ

    I have been working at Panera Bread part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Training the employees is good, the food discounts is great, and when you get regular customers who remember your face it feels good.

    Cons

    You are expected to ring up a long line of people while making their bagels and drinks by yourself in the morning. The managers are not helpful to you and expect you to get all these responsibilities for the restaurant done while taking customers first.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not ignore employees when they tell you their needs. Pay attention to what their availability is and stop making schedules that do not work with it, then expect them to find coverage. Also when someone is supposed to leave at a certain time, that means they leave at that time and not one to three hours later. It is not our fault when employees reach overtime because you do not let them leave on time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Met a lot of great people, but eventually ended up quitting all together.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Shift Supervisor
    Former Employee - Shift Supervisor

    I worked at Panera Bread full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Discount on food. Get to meet a lot of cool people who all hate the job.

    Cons

    The job is very demanding. I worked for this company for three years and ended up hating it. Management too lazy to promote or give raises. No flexibility in scheduling. Constantly asked to do illegal things like 'working off the clock' because of 'overtime'. Management will always harp on overtime, but are fine with calling people in. Management constantly belittles you by making employees do more work than they are doing, but will refuse to pay you more. Also will try to hold everyone to a high standard, but allow people they 'can't let go' to come in late or call out. Also, management constantly talks about each other behind the others backs in front of employees, while this is entertaining, it was very unprofessional because it was so easy to pin one against the other. Manager of Operations constantly pops in to complain about staff and make useless idiotic suggestions. Did I mention lack of benefits? Not even direct deposit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get it together.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Minimum wage, overall frustrating job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier/Barista, Dining Room Attendant in Warrenton, VA
    Current Employee - Cashier/Barista, Dining Room Attendant in Warrenton, VA

    I have been working at Panera Bread part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some of the customers were also really sweet and friendly, and often brightened my day. Many of the regulars were older people who were also very nice and who would even offer to share their pastries with us. Very cute.
    Also, you can form a strong bond with coworkers over your mutual hatred for Panera and occasionally (I'd just like to stress the "occasionally' here) get/sneak some free food.

    Cons

    - Low pay; at least for this franchise, you start off making minimum wage, which isn't unexpected. You can be considered for a raise of up to 50 cents (ooh great) every six months depending on your performance but many of my best coworkers often received a "raise" of 8-12 cents... which doesn't make a whole lot of difference. I know people who have been working there for 3+ years and they're still only making about $8 an hour.
    - No tipping allowed.
    - Controlling management; often the manager sits in the back just watching the camera screens (which, rather than - facing out onto the store, record all of the employee's posts) and waiting for someone to screw up.
    - Cleaning up after disgusting customers.
    - 15% discount which ONLY applied to this Panera and no others since we worked for a franchise. Lame.
    P.S. When you put your trash in the recycling bin, it only ACTUALLY goes into recycling about 1/3 of the time. The rest of the time we just toss those bags in with the rest of the trash. Sad, but true.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    This is a terrible company to work as a manager for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, mainly because the cafe's are so busy you need 5 managers to run them. (makes it easy to swap shifts/get days off) Decent bonus program (couple hundred bucks every 4 months if goals are met, good work-life balance.

    Cons

    SUPER STRESSFUL! Highest turnover of any company I've experienced, period. Extremely low pay for the expectations (hourly associates) McDonalds pays way more to 16 year old's working drive through. Policies and procedures change much too often. Makes it difficult to maintain consistency from location to location.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    GET OUT! Don't get trapped in a place like this. Came to this company because I thought that it would give me a less stressful life/occupation. It is worse than full service and more difficult to run!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    I've learned to manage a team.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager Panera Bread
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager Panera Bread

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learning to manage people who are underpaid and uninterested and still get the job done.

    Cons

    Hours are not regular so if you are parenting a child or would like to further your education it is impossible to plan!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When someone needs to take a financial hit it is always the employee who can little afford to take the hit. Come on corporate. Really? Go home for a couple of hours and then come back?!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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