Panera unveiled a new option for customers that allow for fast, contactless delivery right to their cars.
The quick-service eatery has launched a curbside pickup service enabled by geofencing technology. For the customer who orders and opts in to the service, the Panera location will be notified automatically when the customer arrives.
Here’s how Panera’s curbside program works: The customer places an order for curbside and, in the ''special instructions,'' specifies the make, model and color of the vehicle they will arrive in. Upon arrival, the customer parks in the parking lot and, for those who have opted-in, a Panera employee brings the order out to the car without any action needed by the customer. Those who don't opt-in to the service tap ''I'm here'' in the MyPanera app or order confirmation email upon arrival.
"In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO, Panera. “Our latest technology and Wi-Fi capabilities, combined with enhanced protective measures at bakery-cafes, make Panera Curbside a frictionless way to continue to enjoy the Panera experience you know and love."
In addition to contactless curbside pickup and delivery options for customers, Panera is taking enhanced safety precautions to open up select restaurants with a "to-go" only model, including:
- Enhanced cleaning and handwashing procedures in all bakery-cafes;
- Ongoing plexiglass barrier installations in Panera cafes + drive-thrus;
- Masks distributed to and worn by all associates;
- Hand sanitizer available in all cafes at each entryway;
- Social distancing measures clearly articulated in each cafe with signage / floor decals;
- Thermometers at all cafes to enable thorough pre-shift wellness checks; and,
- Social distance enabled between ordering kiosks and adding anti-microbial screens.
As of March 31, there were 2,174 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread or Saint Louis Bread Co. names.