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Panera enables ordering with Amazon voice devices

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MyPanera loyalty members can ask Alexa on Echo Show devices to order their favorite Panera items for pick-up or delivery from Panera Bread cafés. (Photo: Business Wire)

Panera Bread is offering contactless ordering with another Amazon device.

The fast-casual chain is now enabling members of its MyPanera loyalty program to order via Amazon Alexa, using Echo Show devices. With this new feature, MyPanera members can ask Alexa on an Echo Show device to order Panera items for pick-up or delivery, and the order will be completed.

To start ordering via Alexa, MyPanera members will need to have an Echo Show device and a stored payment method, and for delivery orders, an address in their MyPanera account. From there, they can ask Alexa to order food from Panera, add items to their order, customize items, and check out, all through voice.

Once signed up for MyPanera, customers with an Echo Show device can start ordering by saying: “Alexa, order Panera.” MyPanera rewards are not currently redeemable through this Alexa service.

Panera pilots palm-based payment

Panera also recently began piloting Amazon's palm-based identification solution, Amazon One, at two stores in its headquarters city of St. Louis, with plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months.

Customers who link their MyPanera loyalty account to Amazon One be able to make frictionless, palm-based payments, as well as receive tailored meal recommendations from Panera associates based on their preferences and previous orders.

After a scan of the palm, Panera associates will be able to greet participating customers by name, communicate their available rewards, reorder their favorite menu items, or take another order of their choice. When they are done ordering, customers can scan their palm again to contactlessly pay.

“While our customers love the Panera app, we know there are times where it’s just more convenient to be hands-free and order by voice, and we are thrilled to work with Amazon to design and offer another convenient way to order Panera,” said George Hanson, chief digital officer for Panera Bread. “We’re continuing to push the boundaries of what we can do to make our MyPanera members’ lives easier, and we’re just at the beginning of what is possible in the world of conversational commerce.”

“Ordering with Alexa gives customers an easy and natural way to connect with their favorite restaurants at-home,” said Mark Yoshitake, GM and director of Alexa Skills. “Panera is the first to use our updated Alexa Food Skills API which incorporates state-of the-art techniques in conversational AI to make the ordering process through Alexa more intuitive. Now, customers can reorder their favorite meal, ask to add avocado and bacon to their sandwich, or track their delivery without having to pick up their phone, or open an app.”

As of February 28, 2023, there were 2,113 bakery-cafes, company and franchise, in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread or Saint Louis Bread Co. names. Panera Bread is part of Panera Brands, one of the largest fast-casual restaurant companies in the U.S., comprised of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

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