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1,546 reviews

Panera Bread Employer Reviews

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Typical
Associate (Former Employee), Washington, DCJuly 21, 2014
I did not like it, I applied for cashier and ended up cooking food. While other people started out on the cashier like I applied to do.
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Standard and pleasurable work environment
Baker (Current Employee), Fort Walton Beach, FLJuly 21, 2014
During a typical night at work I would be required to prepare dough and sweets for the proofing and baking process and well as top, ice, and arrange everything for the next day. I learned excellent time management skills as well as working well with a partner on a series of tasks. My co-workers are all dependable and likeable people who helped to train – more... me accurately and in a short amount of time. The most enjoyable part of my job is coming in to work the next night and seeing the previous nights work on display for the world to see. – less
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Great people and fun work environment
Assistant manager/Food cost coordinator (Current Employee), Manhattan, KSJuly 20, 2014
Panera has been great, I am just looking for something new. Besides the long hours, Panera treats their employees very well.
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good job
Catering Manager (Former Employee), Hillcrest, CAJuly 20, 2014
fun place to work, good times good food. catering department was the best at the time.
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Easy job where I can be outgoing
Associate Trainer (Current Employee), Pasadena, TXJuly 19, 2014
Pros: 50 % off food
Cons: management
Lots of cleaning
Learned how to be patient
Management is pretty terrible. Usually most managers won't help if there's a line to the door or they don't actually look at your availability sheet when they schedule you.
Hardest thing is dealing with people when we run out of bread (yes it happens A LOT)
co workers are great but beware some like to start – more... rumors
its a pretty easy job – less
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Fun work environment with beneficial growth opportunities
Catering Coordinator (Former Employee), Providence, RIJuly 17, 2014
Panera Bread is a great company to work for. There is a lot to learn and a lot of great people to work with. My experience working for Panera has only been positive and I would recommend this company to fellow job seekers.
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The Job Culture is nice
Crew (Current Employee), Knoxville, TnJuly 17, 2014
Pros: the people; co-workers, managers, and customers
Cons: do not offer full time employment
I enjoy working at Panera Bread. The company cares a lot about the community and do a great job helping people. My co-workers are great, we get along well and have created a family relationship. My favorite part are the challenges that come with working at a customer driven business.
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great place
Catering Coordinator (Current Employee), Muskegon, MIJuly 16, 2014
Pros: awesome discount.
friendly, fun, fast paced. management is awesome, always working as a team
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Productive workplace
Barista (Former Employee), Corona, CAJuly 16, 2014
I really miss the food here it was such a great atmosphere to be in with lots of the same faces and daily routines.
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Fast paced environment, great staff.
Shift Supervisor (Former Employee), Midlothian, VAJuly 16, 2014
Pros: fast paced, great staff and managment
Open and closing of bakery café, training of new managers and employees, deployment of staff, monetary deposits, prepping, preparing and storing of foods, customer service, ordering supplies.
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typical work day
ASSOCIATE TRAINER & CATERING ASSISTANT (Current Employee), Midwest City, OKJuly 15, 2014
Pros: discount product
Cons: difficult customers
At Panera a typical work day includes making fresh coffee, taking customer calls for phone in orders, catering orders, making orders, delivering orders if needed, making customer care calls, maintaining an accurate money count in drawer, training new associates, directing associates in duties that need to be completed during the day, giving an excellent – more... customer service experience. the hardest part of my job is keeping not only associates happy and ready to work well but giving customers an excellent experience at Panera. – less
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good job for highschool students
Cashier (Former Employee), Pittsburgh, PAJuly 15, 2014
Pros: food is awesome
Cons: the staff is rather cliquish
job consists of ringing people out and/or creating the meals.
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Fun job to learn
Shift Supervisor (Former Employee), Palm Beach GardensJuly 15, 2014
Pros: free lunch
Cons: management
It was a very demanding job but I like the extra push and the experiences that I gained.
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Typical customer service
Cashier (Current Employee), Dallas, TXJuly 15, 2014
Pros: discounts on food items
Cons: no fixed schedule
Overall, the people are really good to work with. Love my co-workers. Everyone one pitches in and helps. Management is okay. Of course there's dealing with rude customers sometimes.
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Fun workplace and productive
Shift Supervisor (Former Employee), Brookline, MAJuly 15, 2014
An amazing place to better yourself, and build your career.
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Best first job
Service Associate (Current Employee), ConnecticutJuly 14, 2014
Pros: employee discount, great training program, willingness to hire minors, amazing coworkers, extremely flexible scheduling
Cons: lack of communication, rush times are fast paced, rarely give raises
When I first went through training, called Planet Bread, they said, "this will be the best first job you could have experienced. Once you leave us and go to another job, you'll realize how spoiled you actually were!" I know this is true even though I'm still employed. We are spoiled, although there are some negative aspects to the job.

I would like – more... to first say that I started when the cafe FIRST opened, so we were all new. If you have this opportunity, I highly recommend it! There are big differences between opening a cafe and starting in one that has already been up and running.

We started out with training, which lasted a week or so. The hours were non-negotiable (you could either come morning or night) and as a junior in high school (3 towns over) at the time, it was extremely difficult. One con, we were not compensated for this time. We did, however get a crazy amount of free food to take home (it was the food we practiced making).

Once you get that out of the way and are opened about a year, you go from staffing over 4 pages of employees to about 1.5 pages (about 30 total). By this time, everyone has gotten to know each other very well and we all act like family. This is where the opening a cafe aspect comes in to help because we all started at the same level.

They (the managers) try to cross-train as much as possible. This may look like a typical cashier getting trained on salads on a slow afternoon. That's always a fun way to switch it up and can be a pro. Every service person (includes cashier and barista) must learn dining room at some point. This is one of the hardest jobs, I think. This includes constantly cleaning tables and sweeping (carpeted) floors, keeping everything completely stocked, changing coffees every hour, and in my case, running food out to tables. My cafe was one of the test cafes that decided to do table service so every order needs to be brought out to the person's table within 6.5 minutes of the order being placed. If you're new, they'll most likely stick you in the dining room for a while until you learn the ropes. That is probably the most difficult your job will get as a service employee. However, line associates sometimes have to unload the truck when it comes which can take hours, depending on your cafe's volume and standing in the walk in (fridge) for hours at a time.

This job teaches you amazing customer service skills. We are reminded over and over again to do practically whatever it takes to make that customer happy before they walk out those doors to go home. Sometimes, this includes giving them a free cookie if their order was messed up and sometimes it may include a free meal. For example, if they have a to-go order and it has taken too long, offer them a free soda while they wait. If they don't like their sandwich, absolutely not a problem to get them a brand new one, whichever they would like. This is all part of the job. You must also be sincere for this part of it because if you sound like you're annoyed and offering them a free cookie, they'll think you're just trying to get them to leave. But if you really are sincere, and not just acting, they will see that you really do care and want to fix the mistake. We value that a customer will be just as pleased if a problem is properly corrected than if there were no problem at all. If you couldn't tell, we take customer service very seriously!

One con though, is the management. The individuals aren't bad (you will have that one manager who makes you dread your shift, though). The lack of communication between the managers is the issue. I'm not sure how often they are all in contact with each other but it shows that it isn't enough. Just today, there was a scheduling mix up at my cafe that I had already settled with one manager and the manager on duty today called me, totally clueless to the problem. Overall, the managers are very understanding and treat you like family. They recognize strengths and help you work towards fixing your weaknesses. We often get pins for having great service and during our evaluations (every 6 months), they go over what you are doing great at and what you can fix. Motivation is really good here, including sales contests (whoever can upsell the most gets a free meal/shirt/gift certificate), and sometimes our manager will buy us all Chinese food on a saturday night shift to let us know that we're working hard. At my cafe, we are having a huge cookout this month for all of our hard work and staying a "safe cafe" (not having any injuries for an entire year... we get compensated for this) The amount of motivation is a pro.

As far as advancement goes, if you want to move up, you will. Work for it and they will surely notice.

Employee discount is 65% in my location, which is pretty good. I've heard of fast food places giving only 10% off. My location's off duty discount is 15%!

One really nice thing that Panera has is called Helping Hands. It is an organization that it funded by employees. You can choose to have some of your paycheck go into a fund to help your fellow employees in need (I donate $1 every paycheck). This really helps a lot of people. I personally know one person who was homeless when he got his first interview here and the organization set him up with an affordable apartment. I also know one woman who couldn't afford her rent and was losing her apartment and the organization paid her rent for a few months, as well as giving her food. It really is like a huge family.

Now that I am almost 18, and the youngest employed since we've opened, everyone is sad to see me go off to college across the country and they are throwing me a birthday/going away party. If that doesn't show you how the employees really are, then I don't know what does. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Best first job
Service Associate (Current Employee), ConnecticutJuly 14, 2014
Pros: employee discount, great training program, willingness to hire minors, amazing coworkers, extremely flexible scheduling
Cons: lack of communication, rush times are fast paced, rarely give raises
When I first went through training, called Planet Bread, they said, "this will be the best first job you could have experienced. Once you leave us and go to another job, you'll realize how spoiled you actually were!" I know this is true even though I'm still employed. We are spoiled, although there are some negative aspects to the job.

I would like – more... to first say that I started when the cafe FIRST opened, so we were all new. If you have this opportunity, I highly recommend it! There are big differences between opening a cafe and starting in one that has already been up and running.

We started out with training, which lasted a week or so. The hours were non-negotiable (you could either come morning or night) and as a junior in high school (3 towns over) at the time, it was extremely difficult. One con, we were not compensated for this time. We did, however get a crazy amount of free food to take home (it was the food we practiced making).

Once you get that out of the way and are opened about a year, you go from staffing over 4 pages of employees to about 1.5 pages (about 30 total). By this time, everyone has gotten to know each other very well and we all act like family. This is where the opening a cafe aspect comes in to help because we all started at the same level.

They (the managers) try to cross-train as much as possible. This may look like a typical cashier getting trained on salads on a slow afternoon. That's always a fun way to switch it up and can be a pro. Every service person (includes cashier and barista) must learn dining room at some point. This is one of the hardest jobs, I think. This includes constantly cleaning tables and sweeping (carpeted) floors, keeping everything completely stocked, changing coffees every hour, and in my case, running food out to tables. My cafe was one of the test cafes that decided to do table service so every order needs to be brought out to the person's table within 6.5 minutes of the order being placed. If you're new, they'll most likely stick you in the dining room for a while until you learn the ropes. That is probably the most difficult your job will get as a service employee. However, line associates sometimes have to unload the truck when it comes which can take hours, depending on your cafe's volume and standing in the walk in (fridge) for hours at a time.

This job teaches you amazing customer service skills. We are reminded over and over again to do practically whatever it takes to make that customer happy before they walk out those doors to go home. Sometimes, this includes giving them a free cookie if their order was messed up and sometimes it may include a free meal. For example, if they have a to-go order and it has taken too long, offer them a free soda while they wait. If they don't like their sandwich, absolutely not a problem to get them a brand new one, whichever they would like. This is all part of the job. You must also be sincere for this part of it because if you sound like you're annoyed and offering them a free cookie, they'll think you're just trying to get them to leave. But if you really are sincere, and not just acting, they will see that you really do care and want to fix the mistake. We value that a customer will be just as pleased if a problem is properly corrected than if there were no problem at all. If you couldn't tell, we take customer service very seriously!

One con though, is the management. The individuals aren't bad (you will have that one manager who makes you dread your shift, though). The lack of communication between the managers is the issue. I'm not sure how often they are all in contact with each other but it shows that it isn't enough. Just today, there was a scheduling mix up at my cafe that I had already settled with one manager and the manager on duty today called me, totally clueless to the problem. Overall, the managers are very understanding and treat you like family. They recognize strengths and help you work towards fixing your weaknesses. We often get pins for having great service and during our evaluations (every 6 months), they go over what you are doing great at and what you can fix. Motivation is really good here, including sales contests (whoever can upsell the most gets a free meal/shirt/gift certificate), and sometimes our manager will buy us all Chinese food on a saturday night shift to let us know that we're working hard. At my cafe, we are having a huge cookout this month for all of our hard work and staying a "safe cafe" (not having any injuries for an entire year... we get compensated for this) The amount of motivation is a pro.

As far as advancement goes, if you want to move up, you will. Work for it and they will surely notice.

Employee discount is 65% in my location, which is pretty good. I've heard of fast food places giving only 10% off. My location's off duty discount is 15%!

One really nice thing that Panera has is called Helping Hands. It is an organization that it funded by employees. You can choose to have some of your paycheck go into a fund to help your fellow employees in need (I donate $1 every paycheck). This really helps a lot of people. I personally know one person who was homeless when he got his first interview here and the organization set him up with an affordable apartment. I also know one woman who couldn't afford her rent and was losing her apartment and the organization paid her rent for a few months, as well as giving her food. It really is like a huge family.

Now that I am almost 18, and the youngest employed since we've opened, everyone is sad to see me go off to college across the country and they are throwing me a birthday/going away party. If that doesn't show you how the employees really are, then I don't know what does. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Relaxed, fun enviornment
Assistant Manager (Current Employee), West Des Moines, IAJuly 14, 2014
Pros: relaxed
Cons: no work-life balance
Great training schedule and program, I have learned how Panera works.
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relaxed enviroment with really good food
Associate (Former Employee), Fayetteville, NCJuly 13, 2014
Pros: discounts of the food
Cons: food is expinsive and costomers offend reminded us
Making sandwiches, and salads, in a professional and timely manner. Prepping ingredients for said sandwiches and salads. Engaging with the customers to see that they are comfortable and have what they need to enjoy the “Panera” experience.
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Fast paced and nice work environment
Cashier/Food Runner/Dining Room (Current Employee), San Antonio, TXJuly 11, 2014
Lunch rush is pretty busy, most other parts of the day are pretty uneventful. I find myself looking for more stuff to do rather than needing stuff to be done.

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About Panera Bread

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