ST. LOUIS, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) announced today agreements for the development of 27 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Colorado, Georgia and South Carolina. -- Southern Bread, LLC, led by principals Richard Connolly and David Smith, secured the rights to develop 12 bakery-cafes in parts of eastern Georgia, including the Augusta and Savannah markets, and central and southern South Carolina, including the Columbia, Charleston and Hilton Head markets. The first two bakery-cafes will open by the end of 2005. -- Franchisee, Breads of the World, principals Ken Rosenthal, Jeff Rains and Doron Berger, signed an agreement granting development rights for 15 additional bakery-cafes in counties contiguous to their present Denver market, including the Boulder, Colo., market. Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Both groups have track records of success in our industry that will help us continue to execute our growth strategy and introduce the Panera Bread experience in new and expanded markets. We look forward to sharing in their future success." Connolly and Smith are business partners in several ventures including real estate development in South Carolina. Connolly is a former Burger King franchisee who started with one restaurant with 40 employees in 1979 and grew his business to 11 restaurants and 450 employees. Connolly's restaurants won awards for operational excellence, and he was elected to several committees representing Burger King franchisees. Since selling his franchise in 1998, Connolly has been involved in residential and commercial property development in South Carolina and Texas. "During this time, I never stopped searching for a restaurant brand that allowed me to wear the logo with a sense of pride, someone I could partner with that shared the same values regarding people and products that I have had throughout my career," he said. "I know I have found this with Panera Bread." Rosenthal founded the forerunner of Panera Bread Company, Saint Louis Bread Company, in 1987 after more than 17 years in the retail apparel industry. He sold the company to Panera Bread Company in 1993. Rosenthal currently operates 45 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in the Denver; Columbus, Ohio; and Cincinnati, Ohio markets. "The 15 additional bakery-cafes to which we have committed not only represent deeper penetration in our original Colorado market and new development opportunities in contiguous counties, but also reflect our deep belief in the Panera Bread concept," Rosenthal said. "We anticipate an eventual build out to 55 bakery-cafes in this expanded Colorado market." Panera Bread owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names. The Company is the leader in the emerging specialty bread/cafe category due to its unique bread combined with a quick, casual dining experience. Additional information is available on the company's website, http://www.panerabread.com . Matters discussed in this news release, including any discussion or impact, express or implied, on the Company's anticipated growth, operating results and future earnings per share contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The statements identified by the words "believe," "positioned," "estimate," "project," "target," "continue," "will," "intend," "expect," "future," "anticipates," and similar expressions express management's present belief, expectations, or intentions regarding the Company's future performance. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements due to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and could be negatively impacted by a number of factors. These factors include but are not limited to the following: the availability of sufficient capital to the Company and the developers party to franchise development agreements with the Company; variations in the number and timing of bakery-cafe openings; public acceptance of new bakery-cafes; competition; national and regional weather conditions; changes in restaurant operating costs, particularly food and labor; and other factors that may affect retailers in general. These and other risks are discussed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2003. source:Panera Bread Company Web Site:http://www.panerabread.com http://www.saintlouisbreadco.com

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