Panera Bread Essay

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SYNOPSIS Although Panera Bread did not get its name until officially come into existence until 1999, the company actually had its beginning almost 23 years earlier, in 1976, in Boston, Massachusetts. That is when according to Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman, & Bamford (2014) (as cited in Vincelette & Fogarty, 2014, p. 16-2) “French oven manufacturer Pavailler opened the first Au Bon Pain.” A couple years later, in 1978, a venture capitalist by the name of Louis Kane saw the potential in Au Bon Pain and bought the company. Louis Kane opened a total of 13 stores, but ended up having to close 10 of them. Around the same time, a recent Harvard Business graduate by the name of Ronald Shaich had open his own store in Cambridge, Massachusetts by the name of the Cookie…show more content…
Kane and Shaich had become friends and in 1981 merged their two business and became the Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. It wasn’t until 1985 that Au Bon Pain expanded their menu and “the partners added sandwiches to bolster daytime sales as they noticed a pattern of customer behavior-that is, customers were buying sliced baguettes and making their own sandwiches.” Wheelen et al. (as cited in Vincelette & Fogarty, 2014, p. 16-2) By 1991, the company had $68 million in sales and were doing very well, so they made the company public. Due to their business model, the majority of their restaurants were in urban areas, so they could cater more to office workers. Come 1994, they had already opened up 200 stores. A problem with the customers they were going after was that the areas where expensive and there was not much growth opportunity due to limited space. Then, in 1993, they bought the Saint Louis Bread Company. However, due to some bad real estate deals they had put themselves in a $65 million debt and sold Au Bon Pain in 1999 for $73 million. They used this money to get out of debt and start new, but this time using the name Panera Bread. Since then, the company has grown to stores in 40 states

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