The proof is in the success.
- Panera Bread's net income has surged at an average annual rate of 50%, while sales have risen at a 33% rate (BusinessWeek)
- Panera Bread was recognized as the top performer in the restaurant category for one-, five- and ten-year returns to shareholders (Wall Street Journal)
- Panera Bread has been recognized as one of BusinessWeek's "100 Hot Growth Companies"
- Panera Bread ranked 14th on the National Retail Federation's list of the "Hot 100 Retailers" (Ranks greatest increase in year-over-year revenues for all retailers with annual revenues over $100 million.
The Panera Bread legacy began in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. Founded by Ron Shaich and Louis Kane, the company prospered along the east coast of the United States and internationally throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. purchased Saint Louis Bread Company, a chain of 20 bakery-cafes located in the St. Louis area. Managing a comprehensive re-staging of Saint Louis Bread Co., average unit volumes increased by 75% in just four years. The emerging company began to introduce the Panera Bread brand name outside the St. Louis area.
By 1997, it was clear that Panera Bread had the potential to become one of the leading brands in the nation. In 1999, all of Au Bon Pain Co., Inc.'s business units were sold to focus on growing the Panera Bread brand and achieving that goal.
Today there are over 1,673 Panera Bread bakery-cafes. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy quality food in our warm and welcoming environment featuring relaxing decor and free internet access. It's easy to see why Panera has become a favorite gathering place for our customers to enjoy year round favorites or new menu items introduced seasonally. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need.
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