09 Apr 2016
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Introducing Panera 2.0

Ron Shaich on the high-tech future of sandwiches

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As Panera Bread opens its 2,000 location, founder and CEO Ron Shaich (MBA 1978) is preparing to launch Panera 2.0, the company’s ambitious plan to use technology to speed up the ordering process and enhance delivery options.

Shaich tells The Street about Panera’s future and one of the moments that shaped that vision: Seeing someone deliver sandwiches—not from Panera—to his office.

“This really struck me,” Shaich told The Street. “One day a sandwich delivery operator delivered sandwiches to our office, I followed them upstairs to see who received the sandwich. I then hopped into his office and asked if I could talk to him about this. I think he thought he was going to get fired. I just wanted to understand why he did this, when there is a Panera two blocks away. He said he worked on the help desk and couldn't leave the desk. So I thought why isn't Panera supporting this guy?

“So I began to think about Panera in a much more omni-channel way. Delivery is real for us, and it's producing very real volumes.”

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Class of MBA 1978, Section H
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