Panera Bread launches delivery in some suburbs
Panera Bread will begin delivering in many suburbs Tuesday.
The company is hiring its own delivery drivers, unlike some other restaurants that contract an outside firm to provide the service. Panera said it has created more than 900 jobs in Chicago and the suburbs and 13,000 jobs across the U.S. to assist with delivery.
The service is available in 897 cities and 43 states nationwide. In the suburbs, delivery will be available within an eight-minute drive of Panera bakery-cafes.
The service is digital via the Panera app or website. Suburban locations offering delivery include Wheaton, Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, Niles, Aurora, Batavia, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, St. Charles, Libertyville, Mundelein, Elgin, Naperville, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Fox River Grove, Carpentersville and Crystal Lake. Other restaurants will be added throughout the year. To find out if Panera delivers in your area, visit delivery.panerabread.com.
"Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth, and the success we have seen so far is exciting," Panera CEO Blaine Hurst said. "The combination of providing clean food options via an entirely digital experience is giving us a real advantage, and the momentum is just beginning."
Panera is celebrating the service's national expansion with a one-day giveaway with delivery orders. On Wednesday, Panera will add a free cup of soup to guests' delivery orders when they enter the code "Paneradelivers" and place a cup of soup in their cart. To participate in the giveaway, guests must place a delivery order for an item in addition to the soup, and pay the delivery fee.
Most delivery cafes will deliver between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, with a $5 menu purchase, excluding tax, plus a $3 delivery fee in the majority of markets. Panera began rolling out delivery in 2016.
In late 2017, Panera acquired Au Bon Pain Holding Co. Inc., parent company of the 304-unit Au Bon Pain bakery-cafe chain. Ron Shaich founded both Panera and Au Bon Pain.
At the end of March, there were 2,076 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario operating under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. or Paradise Bakery & Cafe names.