Panera pledges to create 10K jobs to help expand delivery

Panera Bread expects to add more than 10,000 in-cafe and delivery driver jobs system-wide by the end of 2017, as it expands delivery service to 35 to 40 percent of its cafes by year end, according to a news release. While many brands rely on third-party delivery companies, Blaine Hurst, president of Panera Bread, said the chain is hiring only in-house drivers. They'll have daytime hours and competitive wages, and he expects them to bring a new level of enthusiasm and delight to customers accustomed to a more traditional delivery experience.

"For us, hiring our own drivers was the only way we could ensure that our delivery guests get the same high-quality experience they have come to expect from our bakery cafes," Hurst said in a company press release.

Panera Delivery, which launched in 2015, allows guests to order and pay using Panera's digital and mobile payment platforms. It also incorporates the company's loyalty program — MyPanera. By linking delivery orders with MyPanera, which has more than 25 million members, guests are able to save their orders, earn and track rewards, and receive one-of-a-kind special offers.

To help track orders, Panera is rolling out a system — powered by Bringg technology —that lets the guest follow their delivery order all the way to their home or office. The guest can see expected arrival time, follow the delivery's progress on a map, see a picture of and be introduced to their driver, and receive a notification when their driver is arriving, according to the release.

Topics: Bakery Cafe, Coffee / Specialty Beverages, Curbside & Takeout, Customer Service / Experience

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