Retailer Focus: Panera Bread

POP Lessons From the QSR Industry

Panera Bread, a fast casual restaurant chain, has over 1600 current locations or bakery-cafes throughout the United States and Canada. With a focus on the customer experience, all Panera restaurants are modern, yet friendly with a warm welcoming atmosphere.

Panera’s interior décor features oversized paintings of food preparation representing Panera’ s emphasis on food quality. Their food photography has a warm feel, styled to create an inviting mood and to tie into the current season. The food images are aspirational – they focus less on representing the food as it is actually served and more on the experience of eating fresh-made food.

The menu system is simple yet modular with the full offering listed but with one highlighted item for a big impact. Large branded vertical banners are used consistently to highlight seasonal offers or new products, and primarily used on columns for best visibility.

On the exterior of Panera Bread stores, there are primarily large icon images of bread and grains, suggesting a fresh-baked offering.

Key POP lessons from Panera Bread:

  • Large in-store banners to highlight seasonal offerings and consistently used on columns for best visibility
  • Strong brand identifiers with prominent logo and icon signs outside the store
  • The menu systems are simple modular fixtures with one highlighted food offering for big impact
  • The food photography is styled for the current season to create an inviting appeal and unique customer experience

Panera Bread has set the standard for the fast casual restaurant industry by providing a unique customer experience with the comfortable, modern yet friendly in-store setting, fresh food choices and appealing food photography.

Their bold signage choices work well inside and outside the store to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that drive sales and encourage repeat business.