Panera Bread Marketing Strategy & Marketing Mix (4Ps)

Published in Services category by MBA Skool Team

Marketing Strategy of Panera Bread analyzes the brand with the marketing mix framework which covers the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). These business strategies, based on Panera Bread marketing mix, help the brand succeed in the market. Let us start the Panera Bread Marketing Strategy & Mix to understand its product, pricing, advertising & distribution strategies:

Panera Bread Product Strategy:

The product strategy and mix in Panera Bread marketing strategy can be explained as follows:

Panera Bread is a chain of fast casual restaurants which do not offer full table service but offer better quality foods at an affordable price. The concept is somewhat intermediary of fast-food chain and casual dining. Panera Bread offers freshly baked goods and pastries and French inspired entrees such as muffins, brownies, bagels, cookies, and scones. Broad product category in its marketing mix includes Soup and Chilli, Cheese and Pasta, Dressing, Sliced Bread, Coffee, Panera Kids and frozen or iced drinks. They also offer dietary choice such as Organic, Gluten free, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Low Sodium and Low-Fat food. The products can be dinned out or taken away as parcel from their shops.

Panera Bread’s menu also has seasonal offerings. It was named healthiest restaurant chains in USA by health magazine. The restaurant chain offers customized local product of states in which they operate keeping a base of product constant across the chain. The restaurant chain also offers free Wi-Fi to its customers. Some its more popular subsidiaries also include Paradise Bakery & Café and Au Bon Pain.


Panera Bread Price/Pricing Strategy:

Below is the pricing strategy in Panera Bread marketing strategy:

Panera Bread prices its offering competitive because of high competition that not only exists from fast casual food but also from fast food and full-service restaurant. Panera Bread’s pricing doesn't discriminate much between its highest priced market and lowest priced markets.

The new pricing strategy which company has named to be a surgical approach of pricing is aimed at location based identifying less price sensitive market and highly price sensitive market. The goal of the company is to create a 10% gap between the price level of two markets. This USA’s one of the leading fast casual chain has also decided upon discrimination pricing of its high valued food offerings. Panera Bread has divided its product mix into day par mix and business composition mix. This change in strategy is marked by the decline in net income of the company over the years due to high input cost. To check this issue, Panera Bread’s new pricing strategy is to compute detailed menu pricing.

Panera Bread Place & Distribution Strategy:

Following is the distribution strategy in the Panera Bread marketing mix:

Panera Bread has about 2000 stores across United States and Canada. Most of its stores are in United States. The company has stores in almost every state of United States. It has two models of store ownership. One is company operated stores and the second is franchise owned stores. The company is in rapid mode of expanding its stores count. The company’s strategy is to reduce the company operated stores and increase franchise owned stores. The company has grown technologically which is aimed at using digital media platforms such as web portals and mobile app to enhance customer experience of buying. It helps the company both from inside and outside of restaurant and smoothen the order traffic in restaurant.

The company has also started delivery services, which has increased the reach of its service.

Panera Bread Promotion & Advertising Strategy:

The promotional and advertising strategy in the Panera Bread marketing strategy is as follows:

Company relies mostly on the word of mouth of its consumer for promoting Panera Bread brand. Thus, it focuses on providing best in class customer experience who dine at Panera Bread restaurant or consume its take away products. Company focuses on adding elements in their service that would appeal different senses of the customers. The launch of Panera 2.0 is one such initiative which will enhance customer experience with the company as well as improve the company’s profit margin. Panera 2.0 which uses online orders from within or outside of stores is aimed at enhancing customer experience by reducing the waiting cues. The company put meals ideas on its web portal which could be made from Panera’s products thus creating a need among consumers to buy the products not only for direct consumption but also as an ingredient to final product. Panera Bread involves itself in CSR activities more predominantly in fight against hunger to build stronger community relationship. TV commercials, use of digital media and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also a part of company’s marketing strategy.

Since this is a service marketing brand, here are the other three Ps to make it the 7Ps marketing mix of Panera Bread.


Panera Bread considers it employees to be the defining factor in the service delivery system. Serving the customers in best possible way and building a healthy relationship with the other team members is at the heart of Panera’s culture. In its recruitment process, Panera Bread looks for the best cultural suite, the company focuses on the answers given by the applicant on the situational questions related to customers. Panera embraces diversity in its workforce to replicate the customer diversity on the other side of the table. It provides competitive pay package and total reward program to keep its workforce motivated with the focus on customer service quality. It allows its employees to choose their own time for work as the company wants to provide an environment to the employees where they feel working at Panera Bread being the integral part of their lives, so that its employees can show full commitment while serving the customers.


With Panera 2.0, the restaurant chain is changing the process of its operation from the current “Pay for and Pick Up” service delivery system where customers had to wait in que to place the order at the cash registers. In the new process, Panera Bread will set up Kiosks in its restaurant, through which the customers will be able to place their orders and they will be served at their table. This has been done to speed up the service and to make customers wait. The company has also rolled out mobile app facility at some of its restaurant where customers can select their options from the menu while they are in route, the monitor on their app gives them the status of their order at the designated restaurant. The company has started delivery process at home where customers place their orders using digital channels like mobile app and their orders are delivered at the doorsteps, however Panera Bread keeps a minimum limit on amount of order to be placed for its home delivery service.

Physical Evidence:

Panera Bread has designed all its customer touchpoints like brand logo and restaurant interior carefully to differentiate the restaurant chain as the bread based fast casual food restaurant. The logo of Panera illustrates a woman with flowing hair caressing a loaf of bread which came to be known as “Mother Bread” and created the differential for the chain. The interior of its restaurant was illustrated with pictures original baking process by bakers. The company communicated the freshness and handmade quality through selection of papers, typeface and method of display, including canvas design. Panera Bread has won several recognitions like one of the most popular restaurant for eating by the restaurant review service Zagat. The restaurant chain was named the healthiest for eating on the Go by Health Magazine. Hence this completes the marketing mix of Panera Bread

About Panera Bread:

Panera Bread is one of the leading bakery/café fast casual food restaurant chain in USA. The company was formed in 1987 and is headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, United States. The company’s annual revenue is nearly $2 billion. The company has its roots in St. Louis Bread Co. which was founded in 1987 and was later occupied by Au Bon Pain Co. in 1993. At the time of acquisition St. Louis Bread operated a chain of 20 bakery shops in St. Louis. In 1997 the company’s name was changed to Panera Bread with a view to expand across USA. In 1999, Au Bon Pain Co. head Ron Shaich sold off all his business invested all his capital into Panera Bread. However, Panera Bread’s business of fast casual food really took off with the onset of sub-prime crisis when less disposable income led consumers to shift towards affordable healthy casual food restaurants. The chain grew at average rate of around 10% during 2000s.

The company has its business operations at more than 2000 locations. In 2017, Panera Bread was acquired by JAB Holding for $7 billion.

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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