Panera Bread Unveils New Restaurant Design Catered to Changing Post-Pandemic Consumer Needs

St. Louis — Panera Bread has unveiled a new restaurant design featuring increased drive-thru and pick-up access, technological offerings including contactless meal pick-up and an updated dine-in experience in response to COVID-19.

The company is the latest chain to announce a refreshed design adapted to the changing needs of consumers during the pandemic. The first next-generation Panera Bread is set to open in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin this November and will include:

• An open kitchen with ovens in full view of restaurant guests;
• dual drive-thru and dedicated rapid pick-up lanes in order to enhance the dine-out process;
• the addition of contactless dine-in and delivery options with mobile notifications to guests when their meals are prepared;
• updated ordering kiosks and automated loyalty identification;
• a fully-digitized menu;
• the introduction of an updated Panera Bread logo;
• and an enhanced interior design with increased wayfinding to exterior seating at the cafe.

“We’re doubling down on what has always made Panera unique — creating human connection through caring associates and a warm, inviting environment filled with the smell of freshly-baked bread — while continuing to be a leader in digital access for the off-premise world,” says Eduardo Luz, chief brand and concept officer at the St. Louis-based company.

Panera worked with design agency BrandOpus to develop the company’s updated brand identity and logo, and ChangeUp to design the next-generation Panera restaurant concept. Further plans for a rollout of the new concept have not been announced.

As of April 27, there were 2,118 Panera Bread locations operating across 48 states and in Ontario, Canada.

—Katie Sloan