Panera Bread Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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3.2
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Panera Bread CEO Ronald Shaich
Ronald Shaich
3 Ratings

Pros
  • 50% discount on food if you're working that same day (in 96 reviews)

  • Flexible hours; discounted food; pleasant work environment (in 57 reviews)

Cons
  • The amount of work one person has to do is ridiculous (in 30 reviews)

  • It's a fairly typical minimum wage job (in 52 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Landmark Center Panera in Boston.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Panera Bread full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible Schedule, they need the staff so won't fire you if you have to call out or are late, really lovely managers (well 3/5 are). They close when the weather is bad. You get the pastries when they break, and get a discount on food. Good passing through, college or high school job

    Cons

    It gets super busy, so if you are working register (like I was for a period) you are taking orders non-stop 11-1/2:30. Or if you are working table service you really get a workout (could be pro haha). The uniform sucks and is enforced.

    Advice to Management

    Let women do bike deliveries if they want (hello its 2015), fire incompetent managers, give people the raises they deserve.


  2. bread

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Panera Bread Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Panera Bread Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Panera Bread (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great people to work with

    Cons

    not enough money to earn a living

    Advice to Management

    none


  3. Helpful (3)

    Good and bad at every work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Hours are decent and I don't smell like alcohol or french fries at the end of the shift.

    Cons

    Side expectations, such as labor scheduling, food cost critique and general reports invariably fall on your personal time do get it done.

    Advice to Management

    I came to Panera to manage. Instead, I find we are allocated management time, ie customer interaction, for 2 hours out of the day. After that, you are a wheel in the machine.


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  5. I enjoyed working as a team and training new employees.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Trainer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Associate Trainer in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Panera Bread part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Schedule flexibility and the bread bashes were a lot of fun.

    Cons

    A lot of work for a low wage.


  6. Helpful (1)

    WARNING AT PANERA BREAD!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Panera Bread part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you want enjoy a job at Panera it is really easy getting the job and the experience is not necessary at all. Is a good beginning to start your career in the work enviroment. You can accommodate work schedules at your convenience. In many cases the shift managers are very understanding and you can talk to them about schedules. Have employee benefits, discounts on food, and if you work in the afternoon shift to close, you can take home the leftovers of pastry! Is very Delicioso!

    Cons

    The wage is very bad compared to everything you do at Panera. If you are a single person and you don't have many bills to pay, is a good job. If not, I wouldn't recommend it to you. You'll have to work holidays and weekends. You must prepare food without errors as quickly as possible and should work under pressure. When you start your work at Panera, the first training is in the dining room, that includes cleaning tables, making coffee (you have to change it each hour) washing dishes and cleaning bathrooms.

    Advice to Management

    If you can work under pressure it's fine! You can take this job as an extra income or as fun as taking experience!


  7. Very hectic

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I like the fact that this is reputable company that has such high standards

    Cons

    They set set high expectations and are always looking for more


  8. Helpful (1)

    The hours are poorly planned but my coworkers are great.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Panera Bread full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The employees at Panera are more friendly and open-minded than many other chain restaurants, but then again I work next to a college that most of the employees attend. The food is more healthful and I can recommend it over McDonald's. It's the lesser of two evils. I have coworkers from Brazil and Puerto Rico and we talk to each other in Spanish and Portuguese, so I am learning real skills not related to food service. I don't hear a lot of Spanish in Starbucks. They have a good food discount-65% on shift, 40% off shift. I can get a green smoothie for two bucks on shift when I can't stop and eat. That being said, vegans and vegetarians really don't want to eat the food-the vegetables touch meat often. Omnivores are happier there.

    Cons

    The dish washing is disgusting. I am vegan and wouldn't eat off the plates here if there was anything I -could- eat; their is no separation of foods. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE WASH THEIR HANDS. I am not exaggerating. Not a single time. Only myself and one guy in pre-med. Disposable gloves are worn for sandwich/salad assembly but not changed between stations nor when making vegetarian items. I had to stop my trainers multiple times to wash our hands during training. They looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them to wash their hands before they went back to making drinks after handling dirty dishes. I am surprised so few people have gotten sick. The hours are insane-I don't mean fifty hours a week, but irregular and often scheduled in a way that adversely effects health. My first month I was usually scheduled a few close shifts then a few open shifts, often five then nine hours so I didn't get breaks. I was expected at six when I was there at 10:30 the night before and had to travel an hour and a half to and from home-yes, the managers know how far I live! They drive five minutes to work so they don't care. I take public transit and had to adjust my availability, which the managers chewed me out for-then the first thing they did was schedule me for the only half day I originally can't work! The pay is not enough for the level of personal maturity and hours Panera expects from associates-full-time is 270-350 a week! If I didn't live in a dumpy apartment I would starve to death. It's a wage that can only work if you have other income like mooching from parents (college student strategy) or social security (older worker strategy).

    Advice to Management

    Make a regular schedule that considers sleep and travel times. It's not hard-I see a few favorite employees with consistent hours. Stop randomly assigning everyone else to stress them out. I'm always afraid to sign up or plan on something since I never know when I'm working. Pay people a more. Panera makes a ton of money. They charge so much for food and pay employees the same as Dunkin Donuts! This makes no sense! The older more realiable and experienced workers cannot afford to live. My coworker works six days a week for 70 hours between Panera and Shaw's so he can feed his two kids. This is depressing.


  9. Helpful (1)

    OK company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Night Baker in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Night Baker in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Panera Bread full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Human Resources Practices were admirable

    Cons

    High Turnover. Company Practices inconsistent with company values and ideals

    Advice to Management

    Properly Train HR


  10. Helpful (1)

    Good Company, Good Environment, Good Pay

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Core values taught and repeated enough to make a positive impact throughout cafes Competitive salary (for established locations*) Five day work weeks (6 day "unofficial" requirement for first 2 weeks of new cafe openings) 45 scheduled hours per week Great training resources for the entire operation - any and all questions can be answered within minutes after looking through the online database of training docs or after a phone call to the "help desk" IT support which is on call 24/7.

    Cons

    Promotions and new job openings given to "friends of friends" like many other companies...it's still very annoying 45 scheduled hours can see a 30% spike during new cafe openings and this is very high. I have seen higher jumps in weekly work hours during new cafe openings and the workload is often unfairly put on the shoulders of the few people who seem to make the best of things with the least amount of help. There are shift supervisors working for the company that make more money than some assistant managers. New positions that emerge within the company are often filled before an opportunity arises for anyone to apply. The "opportunity for growth" is always mentioned in cafes to anyone interested in "climbing the corporate ladder", but it is something that eludes many talented individuals in the company.

    Advice to Management

    Corporate phrases that are repeated over and over again mean nothing to managers that want to know how to work through everything you need them to. More talk of strategy, goal setting and accountability need to take place in every cafe. Special treatment with a blatant disregard for management structure should be fixed immediately and giving praise more often than "never" will help more than you know!


  11. Helpful (1)

    Pretty terrible

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Sometimes, the people you work with are awesome.

    Cons

    It's pretty terrible. Low pay, hard days. Sucks.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating customers better than you treat your workers.



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