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Fast Food Restaurants What's New

Double Bread Bowls Are Coming To Panera Bread Locations Nationwide For A Limited Time

Last year, Panera Bread tested a Double Bread Bowl that had folks buzzing with excitement. Featuring an oblong sourdough loaf with two “bowls” in the middle, it gave people the ability to get double the soup or pasta with the same amount of bread.

Panera is now ready to unleash that concept to the rest of the country with a nationwide launch of the Double Bread Bowl.

double bread bowlPhoto courtesy of Panera Bread

Like last time, you can get any combination of Panera’s soups or pastas, including mac & cheese, inside of either of the bowls. Panera has also added some new items to their menu since the test last August, including custom-built mac & cheeses that will also be available options to further personalize your double offering.

There is one caveat to this, however, as those that order online will only get to choose from a lineup of five different soup pairings. They are as follows:

  • Chicken Noodle and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Creamy Tomato and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Broccoli Cheddar and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Bistro French Onion and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Ten Vegetable and Creamy Tomato

If you want to customize beyond this, such as piling on the mac & cheese, you’ll have to get the Double Bread Bowls in-store.

Panera’s bread bowl will be available from February 14th to February 28th at participating restaurants nationwide starting at $9.99 each.

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Fast Food Video

Panera Bread Just Launched A Build-Your-Own Mac & Cheese Menu

Panera Bread just added something to their food lineup that no major national quick-service restaurant chain has yet to play with: a custom, build-your-own mac & cheese menu.

build-your-own macPhoto courtesy of Panera Bread.

The base of Panera’s creative lineup starts with their white Vermont cheddar mac. From there, you’re able to add on a variety of toppings at no charge. You can choose two premium toppings (out of a lineup of 3), and up to 3 other accompaniments (out of a list of 4).

Your options for toppings and accompaniments are as follows:

Premium Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Smoked Pulled Chicken

Other Accompaniments

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Frizzled (aka fried) Onions

If you’re not sure what to top your mac with, Panera also has a few pre-set options available. These include BBQ Chicken (chicken, fried onions, and BBQ sauce), Baja (avocado and pico de gallo), and Bacon.

Panera’s build-your-own mac menu may not have the variety of other spots, like San Francisco’s MAC’D. However, no other national quick-service chain has flirted with such a concept before, meaning that access to this mac & cheese creation hub isn’t too far away from wherever you are, especially given Panera’s national reach.

You can find the custom mac lineup at participating Panera locations nationwide, and also order it via their online app and website. There’s also a catering version that’s more of a build-your-own mac bar, where all of the toppings come served on the side.

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Fast Food What's New

Panera Bread Tests Double Bread Bowl That Holds Two Soups At Once

As a Bay Area native, New England clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl has long been one of my favorite comfort foods. But as a Disney fanatic, I’ve also been turned onto the mac & cheese bread bowls you can carbo-load on inside of California Adventure. When I go to places that have both options now, I struggle with which item I want to fill my bread with. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

double bread bowlPhoto courtesy of Panera Bread

Panera Bread is testing out a new Double Bread Bowl option that would let me choose between the two pretty easily, because I can just get both at once. Shaped like an oblong loaf with two holes in it, you can choose two of the chain’s soup options that normally go in bread bowls. You can also swap one out for mac & cheese for a starchy soup, pasta, and bread combo meal.

Patrons can get pretty creative with the pairings stuffed into the double bread bowl as a result. Mac & cheese and clam chowder will probably be my guilty pleasure of choice, but a mix of broccoli cheddar and tomato soup also sounds pretty tasty. Tomato soup and mac & cheese is a classic pairing that would mesh perfectly in this new bread.

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The double bread bowl isn’t going to be available everywhere just yet, though. Panera is testing it in Philadelphia from August 5-31 at first, where it will be available both in cafes and for delivery. From there, we’ll have to see whether all locations nationwide will get that option as well.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Panera Bread Finally Comes Around To Latest Trend In Food

As the popular war against foods containing gluten rages on, all of the men and women who are legitimately allergic to gluten will now have something to celebrate.

Near the end of October, Panera Bread will unveil their new rosemary focaccia roll in its Michigan branches.

The plan is to eventually feature the roll in all branches nationwide sometime in 2016.

Time to start rootin' for gluten! Time to start rootin’ for gluten!

If you want to eat gluten-free products outside of Panera, you should be able to find plenty of options at your local Whole Foods. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my delicious $3 loaf of Wonderbread. I’m a glutton for gluten and proud of it, dammit.

Image Source: Medical News Today

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Hit-Or-Miss

New York Panera Manager Reportedly Punches Small Female Employee

In what will surely end up in a lawsuit, a video has surfaced that allegedly shows a male Panera manager punching a small female employee after what looks like a verbal altercation at a New York store.

The video, which was submitted to Gawker by a tipster, was recorded at around 12:30 p.m. (ET) at the Panera on Park Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan.

panera-bread-knockout

The tipster reported that the female employee quit her job mid-shift and became irate, throwing bags of chips on the floor. Allegedly, the male manager threw the female employee down a flight of stairs and out the front door, and when she returned to confront him again, the video begins.

The tipster writes:

“We walked in, in the middle of her quitting her job mid shift. She was yelling at a different manager than the one who hit her and was throwing some bags of chips on the ground, threatening to turn up in this bitch, etc. Really nothing I haven’t seen before or wouldn’t expect from someone who has to work at a fucking Panera all day.

Then out of nowhere white shirt manager approaches her and immediately gets physical with her, keep in mind she’s about 5’2 at most and he was bigger than me… He legit threw her down a flight of stairs and out the front door for really no reason, she runs around to the other entrance to retaliate and that’s where the video starts. You might wanna say she hit him first, but really he had FULL CONTROL over her the entire time, was throwing her around, I think she gets one slap in that was louder than it was painful, then he half punches her once, she spins, and then he REALLY FUCKING PUNCHES her. You can even hear me and my friend yell DON’T HIT HER just before it… I checked on her for a while after the cops left, she seemed ok, she kept saying he really got her in the ear mostly which I know stings like a bitch. She was bleeding a little, and had cuts on her hands but she seemed ok after the adrenaline wore off.”

Written by Jacob Wagner of Next Shark 

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Restaurants

Get Your Thanksgiving Fix Early With Panera Bread’s New Fall Menu

panera-turkey-cranberry-flatbread-sandwichIn keeping with seasonal tradition, Panera Bread has launched their new Fall menu. The chain’s new Turkey Cranberry Flatbread Sandwich brings customers an early taste of Thanksgiving. Filled with roasted turkey breast, cranberry mostarda, garlic herb cheese, and spinach, this flatbread is very similar to a previous fall menu panini that Panera offered a few years back.

A new addition to the pasta lineup includes Butternut Squash Ravioli, which features sage and egg striped noodles stuffed with butternut squash, butter, brown sugar and amaretti cookies topped with a leek and garlic cream sauce, topped with fresh baby arugula and onion shoestrings. How cookies belong in a ravioli is a little weird but whatever, as long as it’s related to pumpkin or Thanksgiving it still fall appropriate.

Customers with a sweet tooth can find a new pastry waiting for them at the front display. The Caramel Apple Scone is described as a cream based scone with caramel chips, dried cinnamon apples, and then topped with cinnamon apples and caramel icing.

Brand Eating reports that “Jack-O-Lantern cookies, Pumpkin Muffies, Cranberry Orange Muffins, apple chips as a topping for their Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Cherry Vanilla Bagels, Pumpkin Cookies, and Pumpkin Muffins” will also be making their autumn comeback.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Real Reason You Can’t Refuse a Cinnabon: Scent Marketing

cinnabon-smell

Have you ever been walking through the mall just minding your own business looking down at your hands wondering how the hell you ended up with a Cinnabon? It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But in that minor moment of “where the hell did this come from” did you ever wonder why exactly you ended up with that warm, gooey, cinnalicious bun of goodness? Besides the obvious fact that those friggin’ little buns are basically the most delicious thing in the mall (sorry Mrs. Fields!) it’s actually the intoxicating aroma of fresh baked Cinnabons that’s luring you to the food court stand.

Scent marketing is a real thing and it’s being used to increase sales and customer experience. Besides Cinnabon other establishments such as Panera Bread and Starbucks employ the use of specific aromas to enhance customer experience and to promote sales. At Starbucks, obviously the first thing you smell when you walk in is the rich smell of coffee beans where as in Panera you’d most likely smell the warm aroma of fresh baked bread. Using this method can be tricky though as it inhibits companies from expanding to certain menu items due to competing scents. For example, if you’re at Starbucks you obviously don’t want to breathe in a garlic and onion breakfast sandwich, it is a significantly pleasant and more pungent aroma than the chain’s usual coffee scent.

In Cinnabon’s case, the franchises are told to purposely purchase weak hoods so the scents waft to back into the store, the ovens are placed at the front of the store for that just baked smell, Cinnabons are baked every 30 minutes to ensure the air is constantly perfumed with the scent of cinnamon buns, and if that wasn’t sneaky enough, some operators even bake sheets of just brown sugar and cinnamon to get that signature Cinnabon scent. I see you Cinnabon. I see you.

While we all appreciate that mouthwatering aroma, it is pretty interesting to see how far this scent marketing thing will play out.

H/T + PicThx Wall Street JournalFirst We Feast

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Panera to Roll Out Mobile Ordering and Self Order Kiosks in 2016

panerakiosks

No longer will you have to wait 20 minutes in line for your “you-pick-two” meal. Forget being on hold forever and a day trying to order your favorite Fuji Apple Chicken salad. The revolution is coming and thy name is kiosks.

In an attempt to fix their well-known speed issues, Panera has dropped $42 million on technology to bring kiosks and mobile ordering to its locations. With the kiosks customers would be able to customize their meals to their tastes, pay, and take an assigned pager so a Panera associate can deliver your food. Regardless if you’re eating in or grabbing a sandwich to go, the self-ordering system could dramatically speed up the entire ordering process.

With the mobile ordering system customers can grab a booth ahead of time and order from their seat, avoiding the kiosks and guaranteeing a spot, which will be great during Panera’s crazy crowded lunch hour.

Though some people are concerned with the kiosks replacing potential jobs for staffers, Panera assures consumers that their workforce won’t be cut. The plan is to have at least eight kiosks in every location with only one or two cash registers being cut.

The whole thing sounds like a great idea considering how long it takes to get a sandwich and soup, but before you start getting too excited the technology won’t be rolling out until 2016. Womp.

H/T + PicThx Consumerist