Panera Bread Franchise

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Detailed Information

Capital Required
$1,117,000 - $3,464,000

Liquid Capital

Net Worth

Financing Assistance
No Financing Available

Training and Support

Initial Franchise Fee

CEO Name
Blaine E. Hurst

Company Owned Units

Existing Units



Before Panera was Panera, it operated with the simple commitment to bake fresh bread every day in each of its bakery-cafes. That was more than 30 years ago, and today, all 2,000+ stores operate with the same commitment to bring fresh, quality foods made of simple ingredients to its customers. However, instead of just selling bread and pastries, every Panera Bakery and Café today sells soups, sandwiches and salads. The meats the company uses are raised without antibiotics, and not a single ingredient contains artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

In addition to serving food you can feel good about, Panera also strives to provide a warm and welcoming dining experience. It places a huge emphasis on quality and convenience and invests in innovative technology designed to streamline operations and increase accessibility. Now, customers can enjoy Panera favorites via mobile ordering, delivery, Rapid Pick-Up and catering.

Why Choose Us?

Panera continues to innovate and expand, all while maintaining its focus on providing quality and wholesome foods in an upscale yet welcoming environment. Though convenient, it never strays from its mission to provide foods people can feel good about eating. Those factors combined make Panera Bread a popular food choice in today's increasingly health-conscious society.

Ideal Candidate

Panera Bread requires that potential franchisees meet strict criteria. Candidates must have experience as a multi-unit restaurant owner and recognition as a top restaurant operator. They must have a net worth of $7.5 million and liquid assets that total $3 million or more. They must also have the resources and infrastructure to meet the company's aggressive development schedule, which involves opening at least 15 units in a six-year span. The right person must be wholly committed to the development of the Panera Bread brand and have a passion for fresh bread.


Panera was not really founded so much as it evolved. Panera evolved from both the Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., and the St. Louis Bread Co. The latter was acquired by the former in 1993, and throughout the mid-90s, the executives studied and modified the St. Louis Bread Co. concept until they came up with the Panera concept. That same year, the executives also came up with the name "Panera."

In 1999, Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., divested its bakery-café business unit but kept the Panera name and business. At that time, the executives renamed the company "Panera Bread Company." Panera Bread acquired a majority share in Paradise Bakery & Café in 2007, a bread company based out of Phoenix that operated more than 70 locations at the time. Two years later, Panera purchased the remaining Paradise locations and has been working to convert them into Panera bakery-cafes. Since then, Panera has continued to purchase popular chains committed to providing wholesome foods in a warm environment and to convert them into one of America's most beloved café-bakeries.

Training And Support

Training is required, but franchisors must pay for all associated expenses themselves.
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