Panera Bread

  www.panerabread.com
  www.panerabread.com

Panera Bread Reviews

Updated December 21, 2014
Updated December 21, 2014
1,398 Reviews
3.1
1,398 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get a discount on food and I met a lot of great people working there (in 96 reviews)

  • My department is really good about work-life balance and allowing flexible hours (in 57 reviews)


Cons
  • Careless and lazy managers well as very low pay for amount of work that is needed (in 30 reviews)

  • A LOT of hardwork only to get paid a dollar more than minimum wage (in 52 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Panera/Covelli Enterprises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Employee in Columbus, OH
    Former Employee - Employee in Columbus, OH

    I worked at Panera Bread

    Pros

    The food is decent when you can take a break. Managers and supervisors get numerous smoke breaks each shift. My store was open to hiring everybody and did not discriminate on anything, though I don't believe we had anyone with a recent criminal record.

    Cons

    I fully admit that I only have experience at one store, and while I have spoken to people at other stores with similar opinions, not everyone will have the same experiences.
    Too many high school kids with too much attitude. The "No Jerks" rule seems to be optional. Promoting people who have been there more than 6 months because they need supervisors for their expansions, even when those people have no idea what empathy or food safety are. Promoting assistant managers barely out of high school who become quickly overwhelmed. As many supervisors and managers as employees, each with a different opinion on what an employee should be doing and how. I also saw 1 great employee get passed over for promotion because the manager didn't want them to get transferred to a new store.
    Complete inability to answer questions or help customers other than taking an order. Everything else requires a manager's presence, which irritates the manager, employee, and customer.
    The one assistant manager who truly cared and worked as hard as any entry level employee wasn't best friends with the manager and never seemed to get appreciation or acknowledgement for his efforts.
    Cutting corners and pushing back hold times on food and coffee to save money.
    Schedules posted last minute, and friends of the manager get preference for days off. It's not based on seniority, need of the store, or need of the employee.
    No breaks on busy days. Food is expensive when you get a break. Supervisors give out free meals to friends only (employees and not) using manager code. Pay just barely above minimum wage, even for people with experience and food safety certifications. No raises unless you get promoted. Training is a day in front of a computer watching branding videos and 2 hours at another store for an orientation that even the instructors admit is a joke- they spent the whole time texting on their phones, skipped sections, and one left halfway through the presentation.
    Leftover food that is supposed to get donated after close usually goes home with the night supervisors or gets thrown away the next day.
    Mass panic when the Covelli's came into the store, and reminders of what the real policies are supposed to be so we can answer questions. (The Covelli's that I met were always polite and personable, and I have nothing against them. I suspect if I had come to them with my concerns, they would have listened. But employees are kept busy so we don't get to speak with them.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To management- Start over. Require all supervisors and above to attend people management and food safety classes. Do yearly evaluations and give raises or bonuses where they are earned. Practice what you preach. If your people are properly trained, there's no need to panic at visits from the franchise owners.
    To the Covellis- have multiple employees hired undercover who will report back to you. It's practically the only way to know what happens in your investments when you have that many properties. Make changes as needed.
    For employees- Make friends with the manager's clique. At least you'll get free food.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate trainer

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

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers also great clients

    Cons

    No future the opportunities to advance do not pay great

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate employees more

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Needs Complete Management Overhaul

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Panera Bread

    Pros

    - Fellow associates are fun to work with
    - Em. discount on food

    Cons

    1. Management is completely unprofessional (with the exception of one); yelling at employees on the floor, belitting employees, discussing private manners in front of associates, not giving employees the tools to perform their job, managers consistently on personal phone calls during closes or even while open, managers leave the cafe to chat with friends while there is a line of associate needs assistance... the list can go on and on

    Managers put blame directly into associates. GM is the most unprofessional of all management. Consistently threatening to fire employees in an attempt to make them work harder.

    2. Expectations are way out of proportion to salary; employees are pushed to the limits with task load and expectations, especially trainers. Rushed and expected to do a perfect job.

    3. Trainers not receiving pay raise; trainers are at their breaking point with expectafions. Management has not applied to raise salary of some trainers, despite having been training new associates for months. Also overscheduled.

    4. Customers treat employees like slaves; common in food service... But at Panera, customers think they can treat employees badly because they pay a higher price for food - ask for completely new food items because they didn't "like" the one they ordered, scattering food mess across the restaurant, taking 15 minutes at the cash register, etc.

    5. New associates are incapable; newer associates are not receiving adequate training due to over-stretched, underpaid trainers. Slows down the team and frustrates other employees

    6. Refusing to let employees book off exam days; completely inconsiderate.

    Cafe rating are dramatically sinking with the morale of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wow. Fix everything.

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

    Owners of the company were harsh and unreceptive to suggestions for improving work conditions.

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

    I worked at Panera Bread full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Panera has a great reputation and the food was excellent.

    Cons

    Upper management and the inability to adapt items to meet local needs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to be more open and receptive

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

    Terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in West Freehold, NJ
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in West Freehold, NJ

    I have been working at Panera Bread

    Pros

    managers eat for free.

    Cons

    Mandatory UNPAID overtime
    Pretty much everything

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to actually take care of your people or your cafes are going to fail

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Awful hours, management, co-workers, etc.!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Panera Bread Associate in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Panera Bread Associate in Herndon, VA

    I worked at Panera Bread part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good employee discount on food, we can take home baked goods at the end of the day.

    Cons

    Pay was awful, $8.50 an hour before taxes. Managers would always schedule me with conflicting hours. Closing was tedious. Must have anxiety to work on the food line, they expect you to have every order ready in under three minutes. Also, I recommend you don't eat here too often if you work at Panera. All of my co-workers said they gained a lot of weight since working there. Soups and the Mac & cheese are from bags. Worst of all, this company wastes SO MUCH FOOD.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to donate the baked goods please. It sickens me to see everything thrown away at the end of the day. Charities do pick it up occasionally but I have only seen it happen once. Yes, it is very perishable, but still.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier/Barista in Westerville, OH
    Former Employee - Cashier/Barista in Westerville, OH

    I worked at Panera Bread part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    A lot of younger people work at panera bread for a first job. You get a lot of experience there.

    Cons

    At panera bread there is a lot of drama. Managers move people that haven't been there as long as you up in positions before you get a raise.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    I couldn't get out fast enough

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

    I worked at Panera Bread part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    free food and being able to be on my phone, typically flexible hours (unless you work production)

    Cons

    As a high school student, i would come in at 3 and leave as early as 10:30 and the latest time i left was 1 am (ON A SCHOOL NIGHT) they didnt care that i was in high school and i had to quit because i would work 4 weekdays and 2 doubles on weekends. My grades went down and while all this was happening my fellow coworkers that worked registers (and went to my same school) they would leave at 10-10:30 every night.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    notice that when you hire high schoolers, you need to respect their grades first.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Worst ever

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

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

    Pros

    Cheaper food is a plus I guess.

    Cons

    Management is awful. Way under payed for the amount of work you do and usually the customers are jerks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect and appreciate your employees instead of picking favorites....don't condone drama.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Awful Pay, Poorly Treated, They don't care!

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

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

    Pros

    The only good thing is, the people ypu work with become like your family, and all of your regular customers seem to appreciate you.

    Cons

    GM Management! HR and anyone in charge! They don't care! overworked and underpaid, They adjust your time and hope you don't catch on, they don't submit raises for months after you remind them over and over, you get called in on days off, you have to stay late or are asked to come in early, because they are understaffed!!!! Not our fault, but we get the brunt of it. No cross training, no room to grow or advance. The GM has had so many complaints on him, but they will not let him go. Sad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get it together, we are not slaves and we want to be PAID for hours we have worked, not have you delete them to make YOUR numbers Better!!!! Jacksonville NC.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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