Pros: playing music of your choice while in charge of your own bake, free/discounted food up to 20$.
Cons: no breaks (or time for them), not enough ovetime, no benifits, faulty equipment or lack of service/maintenance of them, selfish coworkers and management
I worked at this company for 3 years at 2 different franchises and can honestly say that I loved the work (all the food that was assembled, shaped, mixed and composed to be baked and served) and the job itself and everything about being a solo baker (even the graveyard shift hours where difficult, I still loved it). BUT the people, politics and atmosphere – more... of every Panera I have every baked for is always the same in the sense that management and co workers where not friendly, considerate, understanding or generous at all. Absolutely no sense of what it means to be a team or a family. That was always the hardest thing. In working for this company I did truly learn what it means to bake for very large amounts of people either alone or with only one or two other accomplices, and that was very refreshing. I appreciated the challenge and the constant yet steady work load. Unfortunately, they do not give benefits for the Marina Del Rey, Torrance, Carson, Westchester and Santa Monica locations and you never get time to take a break because of the big workload. As I said before, I did not mind the workload and got everything done in a timely fashion but I did find it to be more then unsettling that myself and others were severely punished when we did not have time to take our 30min breaks; they didn't allow us more then a couple hours overtime, even for large catering orders requiring more high volume baking for each pay period (which consisted of 2 weeks). The hardest thing in the job was definitely the equipment breaking often remaining in that state for extended amounts of time injuring us bakers on several occasions because of the lack of proper professional technical maintenance that the company and owners/management should be taking care of. The best part of this job was definitely that you get a lot of freedom as you work to play any music you like and work how you like just so long as your product is up to company standards every bake. Working here has definitely taught me to be stronger, more patient and to not care about what dramatic trivial fictitiousness are being said to me or about me but to just focus on my job itself and do what's right ethically and by the company and myself. I am so very grateful for this experience in many ways for teaching me to be tougher and more assertive yet more understanding. – less