Panera Bread is becoming more popular as we speak, and with good reason. Well, that’s my impression. Their food is fresh and simple, and their menu is very varied. Because of this, Panera Bread is one of those restaurants that appeals to everyone (regardless of what people feel like eating).
Whether you’re a regular visitor to Panera Bread or you’ve never been there before, let me share some interesting facts about the place.
1. Is Panera Bread Fast Food?
Panera Bread is not technically fast food, at least as far as what most people think of when they hear the term “fast food.” At Panera Bread, you stand in a line and place your order. You sometimes have to go and sit down and wait for your order to arrive.
However, it doesn’t take too long. One of their employees will bring your order once it’s done. All food items at Panera Bread are made to order, so the busier they are, the longer you may have to wait. The same goes for some other fast food chains. For example, some people consider Sonic Drive-In to be a little slow. However, remember that fresh meals take more time to prepare than pre-cooked items.
That being said, you usually don’t have to wait extremely long. For that reason, some people call Panera Bread fast food. That’s why I decided to add their restaurant to my website.
2. Why Is Panera Bread So Popular?
Panera Bread is popular for many reasons, one of which is the fact that their food is always fresh. Another reason is that the restaurant has done an excellent job of making people feel relaxed. There’s no need to rush when enjoying your meal.
Furthermore, Panera Bread has an almost “hippie-like” feel to it. This makes people feel welcome and comfortable while they’re enjoying their meal and chatting with their friends. It’s both the delicious food and the unique atmosphere that invite people back to Panera Bread over and over again.
3. Is Panera Bread Busy?
Panera Bread is busy most of the time due to its popularity. Nevertheless, there’s room in the serving line for plenty of people. Because they have a good amount of employees, customers tend to get through the line fairly quickly. Once again, since the general atmosphere is one that people tend to love, customers rarely feel rushed.
Sometimes it gets so crowded that it’s difficult to find a place to sit, but again, that’s rare. Most of the time, even when the restaurant is busy, customers are well accommodated.
4. Is Panera Bread a Good Place to Study?
Panera Bread’s atmosphere is indeed good for studying and reading. It’s a casual, laid-back place that is generally pretty quiet, although people are allowed to talk. Just be aware of the fact that it’s never completely silent. Nevertheless, the general pleasant atmosphere of the place does make it a lot easier to relax, enjoy your food at a slow pace, and study or read as much as you like.
When you add the fact that their employees allow you to take your time, it’s easy to understand why Panera Bread is a good place to study and read as you eat.
5. Does Panera Bread Give Free Water?
Panera Bread does usually give you free tap water, although some locations may charge you a small amount for the cup. They also sell both bottled water and San Pellegrino sparkling water, but these naturally come at a charge.
If you want more than one serving of water, the best thing to do is order a small drink. All of their drinks come with free refills. You’ll spend less money on the cup and you can fill it up with anything when you’re finished drinking, including water.
From my experience, most fast food restaurants offer free water. Some charge for the cup (like Panda Express for example), and some fill up your existing cup. It all depends on the policy. Just ask them politely to be absolutely sure.
6. Is Panera Bread Pizza Good?
Panera Bread advertises that it’s “food as it should be”. That tells you a lot about how their food tastes. Their pizza is flatbread pizza with lots of tasty ingredients such as fresh cheese, pepperoni, chipotle chicken and bacon (and several others).
You can even personalize your pizza according to your taste. With a chewy crust and any fresh topping you want, many people consider Panera Bread pizza to be good.
7. Why Is Panera Bread So Expensive?
Panera Bread is a little more expensive than regular fast food. However, it’s not as expensive as you might think, especially when you consider that it’s fresh and made-to-order food. For example, their flatbread pizzas start at under $10. Their bread bowls are around $7. Their salads are $8+, and their bagels are only $1.50.
If you compare these prices to other typical fast-food restaurants, they may seem a little high. On the other hand, when compared to a regular sit-down restaurant, their prices are very reasonable.
8. Is Panera Bread Worth it?
Panera Bread must be worth it because more than 8 million customers visit the chain each and every week. Their varied menu is a large part of their success. They offer salads, soups, sandwiches, pizza, bakery items, and sides such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and chips. Panera Bread also serves yummy homemade spreads made specifically for their bagels. But of course you can also dip fruit in them. Their desserts include brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more.
Considering the amount of regular customers, most people would agree that Panera Bread is indeed worth the money. Panera Bread also has a subscription/membership plan to get free drinks, exclusive rewards and discounts, and much more. They cost around $9 per month and are worth it for people who visit the restaurant a lot. This also explains why Panera Bread is so popular.
9. Does Panera Bread Accept 50- or 100-Dollar Bills?
As long as the restaurant has enough cash in the cash register to give you the right amount of change, they will accept large bills such as 50s and 100s. During the course of the day, this is usually not a problem. However, if you give them a 50- or 100-dollar bill early in the morning before the majority of their customers arrives, they may not have the right amount of change.
If you order through a food-delivery service and you intend to pay with cash, it’s recommended to let them know ahead of time. As a general rule, drivers don’t normally keep that kind of cash on them.
10. Does Panera Bread Accept Tips?
Each restaurant is different, but yes, Panera Bread restaurants do usually accept tips. Some have a tip jar near the register and there is room for a tip on the receipt in most locations. It’s unclear how much Panera Bread employees get paid per hour, but there’s little doubt that tips are appreciated and accepted at the restaurant.
11. Do Panera employees get tips?
Yes, employees do get the tips that are collected by the restaurant each day. The exact amount depends on how much they receive on a specific day, but the tips are always shared with all of their employees.
12. Do You Tip at Panera Bread Curbside?
Most people do tip when using Panera Bread Curbside. The fees they add on are delivery fees and taxes, but they don’t automatically add a gratuity fee. It’s simply common courtesy to add a tip. Well, that’s my thought and what seems reasonable to me. Tipping is also a way to express your appreciation.
Fun Fact: Did you know there are actual fast food socks (Tortilla, Burgers, Pizza etc)?
Panera Bread is a very welcoming place that allows you to enjoy a sandwich or salad in a relaxed atmosphere. Like I said, they’re not as fast as some of the other fast food restaurants, but it’s not a very long wait either. I mean, I sometimes have to wait for a coffee or sandwich at Starbucks as well. Nothing wrong with that. As long as you’re not in a hurry.
If you prefer sandwiches, consider to also read my frequently asked questions about Subway.
Last but not least, if you enjoy to spend time in the kitchen, here’s an article about how to prepare meals similar to Panera Bread.