14 Pros and Cons of Working for Panera Bread

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From soups to sandwiches to artisan salads, Panera Bread’s menu makes it a popular choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If it’s your go-to lunch spot with your friends or favorite date night meal, you may wonder if you would want to work there.

After all, it’s one thing to eat at a restaurant and a whole other one to cook in their kitchen or greet customers at their cash wrap.

To give you some insight into what it’s like to work at Panera Bread, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of working for this company.

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Pros of Working for Panera Bread

1. Simple training

Many Panera Bread employees on Indeed include “easy training” as one of the main perks of working at Panera Bread.

If you want a job that has straightforward training that will prepare you for all of your necessary job duties, Panera Bread can be a great choice.

When you want to get to work immediately without going through extensive training programs or higher education, it’s great to have a job that only takes a few weeks to fully train like most restaurant roles at Panera Bread.

2. Panera Bread has many locations across the United States and globe

While Panera Bread isn’t in every town across the country, they do have restaurants in most, if not all, states in the United States.

Even if you live abroad in Peru, Spain, Sweden, or another country where they have locations, you can work at a Panera Bread.

Since there are so many Panera Bread restaurants around the world, you can rest assured that the company is succeeding on some level.

What’s more, you may be able to transfer stores if you move in the future. 

3. The scheduling app makes accumulating extra shifts easy

If you want to pick up more hours, you can simply check the app that Panera Bread uses to schedule their employees to see if anyone needs you to pick up a shift.

This helps you out financially while giving your teammates a break, so it’s a win-win.

When it’s this easy to pick up more shifts, it can be easier to earn more money for the pay period when you need a little bit of a cash cushion for your paycheck.

If you find that you have to get your shift covered due to an emergency or unexpected problem, finding coverage can be as simple as posting your shift on the app.

4. Promotions from within

When you work at Panera Bread Bread, you can start out as a line cook and work your way up to managing the kitchen or even managing the whole restaurant.

This company’s ability to promote from within makes them ideal for folks who want more than a job.

If you want a career and you are willing to work for it, you can earn more and gain more experience during your time at Panera Bread by moving up the ranks.

Since they tend to promote associates to management, your managers will have a better idea of what your experience as a cook or cashier is like than someone who was promoted from outside the company.

5. The job descriptions are straightforward

When you work as a cashier, line cook, or salad maker at Panera Bread, you can expect your duties to stay pretty similar from one day to the next.

While there may be slight changes if you are needed in another area or if the store is extra busy, you can usually expect to stay on your station for the whole shift while preparing items and keeping your ingredients stocked.

With the bounds of your job well-defined, you can enjoy the predictability that each shift brings after you’re done with training.

6. You can split tips with co-workers in certain positions

If you work in the kitchen or at the cash registers, you may be able to split tips with your co-workers to help increase your hourly wage.

This is usually done by dividing the tips among employees at the store and then distributing them at your next paycheck.

When you’re working hard, it’s rewarding to earn a little extra for going the extra mile.

While these tips aren’t always enough to make a huge difference in your hourly pay, they can be a nice perk financially.

7. Meal discounts

Although it’s unclear exactly how much employees can expect for a discount on the clock and off the clock, Panera Bread advertises an employee discount as a benefit.

If you love eating at Panera Bread, this can make your favorite restaurant a little easier on your wallet.

On top of that, you can save money on lunches or dinners while on the clock if you decide to eat in the restaurant.

This also helps you save time before your shift.

When you don’t need to run anywhere to grab lunch or remember to pack a lunch, you can spend that time enjoying your free time or your break.

Cons of Working for Panera Bread

1. Busy work environment

Since Panera Bread is a popular restaurant chain, it’s no surprise that it can get hectic at times.

If you have a hard time keeping a cool head under pressure, this might wear on you over time.

During peak hours such as lunch time, you’ll notice a huge surge of customers that can feel overwhelming.

While some employees thrive on the fast-paced nature of working in food service, others drown under waves of orders and high expectations.

Even if you like working under pressure, you might find that the quick pace of peak hours at Panera Bread is too much.

2. Lunch rushes can be overwhelming

As we said in our last con, peak hours like the lunch rush can be a lot for Panera Bread employees.

You need to be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining accuracy in preparing orders for customers.

This means juggling multiple orders at once and keeping track of a lot of moving parts.

For those who work the front end, it can become stressful, too.

If you are a cashier during lunch rush, it can be frustrating to handle customers who want their food to come out faster.

Working during daylight hours at Panera Bread is not for the faint of heart.

3. Overnight hours for some bakers can be exhausting

If you work as a baker at Panera Bread, you might have to take on overnight hours.

If you are a night owl, this can be ideal.

For those who have a more regular daytime schedule, though, this can throw your body off.

Even if you aren’t working overnight hours as a baker, you may need to work early or late hours at Panera Bread.

You also might not get a fixed schedule, which can make planning challenging.

4. Some customers are unpleasant or rude

While it goes without saying, if you work at Panera Bread, you’ll have to work with the general public.

This means that you’ll encounter a mixed bag of personalities as a cashier or front-end worker.

If you hate working with people, you’ll hate working at a restaurant like Panera Bread.

Between the customers, other team members, and management, personalities can clash at Panera Bread.

If you aren’t prepared to keep your cool during tough interactions with customers, Panera Bread might not be the best fit for you.

5. Poor management at some locations

While every location is different, some employees who reviewed Panera Bread on Indeed.com spoke to poor management experiences at their restaurants.

If you don’t feel supported by management, it can make your job that much harder.

During the interview process, it’s good to get a feel for the manager and see if your work styles might click before you accept the job. 

6. Lack of raises

At Panera Bread, they do offer relatively competitive wages as an entry-level pay.

While this is great, it’s not helpful if they don’t offer raises for employees who stay there for the long haul.

Since employees who reviewed the company on Indeed shared that they don’t get raises frequently, you probably can’t bank on getting a raise while working here.

If financial incentives are a huge motivator for you at work, Panera Bread might not be high on your list of potential places to work.

7. High turnover

Although most service industry jobs experience high turnover, it’s worth noting that Panera Bread has a problem with high turnover in their front end and kitchen staff.

This could be due to a range of factors such as management issues, overscheduling, underscheduling, and low pay.

Still, if your Panera Bread location seems like it’s always hiring, there might be a good reason for that. 

14 Pros and Cons of Working for Panera Bread – Summary Table

Pros of Working for Panera BreadCons of Working for Panera Bread
1. Simple training1. Busy work environment
2. Panera Bread has many locations across the United States and globe2. Lunch rushes can be overwhelming
3. The scheduling app makes accumulating extra shifts easy3. Overnight hours for some bakers can be exhausting
4. Promotions from within4. Some customers are unpleasant or rude
5. The job descriptions are straightforward5. Poor management at some locations
6. You can split tips with co-workers in certain positions6. Lack of raises
7. Meal discounts7. High turnover

Should You Work for Panera Bread?

Because of advantages such as employee discounts, flexible scheduling, and delicious food, you should work at Panera Bread if the pros outweigh the cons for you.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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