Overall Reviews at Panera Bread
Associate | Brea, CA | Oct 22, 2019
This company has a lot of issues and needs to change, but otherwise an alright place to work.
For me, this job wasn’t the worst experience of my life (despite the ratings I’m giving it).
This company/location had a lot of issues overall and I hope that someday they get themselves together and make things better.
I’ll start with some cons and then move to the pros of this company.
To start, we had such a high turn over rate that after a few months, I didn’t even know who was on staff anymore. It’s disappointing to get to know my coworkers, only for them to be gone a few days to a few weeks later. And by the time I had left this company, only five or six people out of thirty six had been with me since I started. And almost all of those workers were managers...
Another thing that really upset me was that we never got proper breaks. For me personally, because I’m not fully sure how my coworkers handled this, I had to ask so many times to be shot down because no one could cover my shift for me. It was incredibly disappointing during my six to six and a half hour shifts because I ended up not eating almost all day and as a result I wasn’t performing as well as I could have. Then I was told to sign a waiver that was not fully explained to me, but all I knew was that I had to sign it so the company wouldn’t face legal trouble for not giving me my proper breaks.
Another con was a newer manager who came in and was not super nice to me and a few other coworkers. But I won’t go into too much detail because that has nothing to do with the company, but I wanted to make the...more
ProsFriendly coworkers, good discounts on meals
ConsNot good at giving breaks to employees, high turn over rate, a few unfriendly managers
Associate | Mentor, OH | Oct 1, 2018
Fast-paced and stressful work environment.
Typical day at work:
Panera has different stations for people to work at. There's line, dining room and register.(and prep)
Typical day on line would be stocking before lunch hit. Our Panera was always very busy and fast-paced during lunch. We are often under-staffed so you're working very hard to keep up with ticket times. While making food, you are also dealing with customers waiting by the counter or coming up to the counter. Most people are nice but you do sometimes get the people coming up to complain.
Line is fine when we have enough staff but their are times when I was left on line by myself, having to run around making multiple orders by myself. Sometimes managers would jump in to help. Other times, the managers were either too busy with other things or too lazy and uninterested in doing anything to help, leaving me to do it all myself. There were days where we weren't that busy and it wasn't bad too.
Dining room was stocking, making coffees, cleaning tables. Pros- easy work, independent so no managers could boss you around,and you can go at your own pace. Cons- we get very busy and it becomes overwhelming. Sometimes it's so crowded, it's hard to get through the dining room to clean and get plates and such. It can also be very exhausting to run through the dining room, keeping up with everything for hours.
Pros in general about this job. It will be different for every location of course. You get 50% discount during your shift. Coworkers can be nice and you ...more
Pros50% off meals during shift. 30 minute breaks
Consstressful, fast-paced. occasional grouchy/rude coworkers and managers.
Line Cook/Prep Cook | Machesney Park, IL | Sep 23, 2019
I just started and I already want to quit.
When I first had my interview I was really excited to start. I applied for the cashier position. After your interview if you’re hired you have to do an orientation which is just basically a walk through of your Panera so you can see what it’s like to work there. After the orientation you have a “proof” which is kind of like a meeting with all the other hires where you watch videos about Panera and do interactive questions with a manger.after that I did online training at my Panera which took three hours. I’m still not sure if I’ll get paid for those three things but I intend to ask when I go back in a couple days. My first day there was horrible. They had me scheduled from 5am-2pm which I wasn’t mad about since that was the shift I wanted. When I got there the manager told me I was going to be working the line, which was weird since I applied for the cashier position. But I just went with it for now. While training I found out that the girl who was training me had only been there for FIVE DAYS. A girl who barely knew what she was doing herself, who was still supposed to be training, was training me! My first day wasn’t terrible I just was confused the whole time because nobody was really training me. My second day I had a different person train me, she knew what she was doing so it went a lot smoother only she was scheduled for two hours because it was supposed to be her day off, so when she left I was kind of on my own to figure out what I was doing. My third day I had anot...more
ProsDiscount, okay pay
ConsNobody listens to what you want, over worked employees
Regional Sales Manager | Georgia | Jul 22, 2019
It was a great place to work until they put profits before their employees
I loved working there starting in 2010. This company stocks were the highest of any restaurant company in America. They paid their line workers $15 an hour or so. I was in sales/marketing so I worked for their corporate office vs. a set restaurant. They were the "Apple Computers" of fast casual restaurants. They were innovative in the delivery of their food and how you could order from inside the restaurant, on a computer, or on an app. The company more than doubled every year until 2014. They were set for sale and once they sold they changed the line employees pay to about $7.55-$8 an hour. This changed the quality of worker as well as the moral of those who stayed on after the price decrease. Those who had been working for more had their hourly wage lowered. Not only this but every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Panera Bread would give each employee, manager, etc., a $25 Publix gift certificate or one for a ham. By 2013, the company was giving away to each employee for these holidays an 8 pack of dinner rolls. Yes, you heard correctly. They made these in house. I did the math and for all the employees in the company (both corporate and at their restaurants) they may of cost them a total of 33 cents per pack. This was sad to me as they company who once vowed to take care of their employee as they were family stopped doing so. One out of every Panera Bread Employee is food insecure. They MIGHT get one meal a day. Panera Bread will donate left over bread items a...more
Associate | Winter Garden, FL | Feb 18, 2019
I didn't know purgatory had baguettes
Where do I even start? I came into this company when my location's management was changing. I hear the old manager was amazing. Too bad I never got to work with him.
I worked the line mostly. It was awful. The location was always short staffed, and because of that those who worked were worked to the bone. Everyone around me left, and instead of replacing them, management worked those that remained like work horses. There was a point where my manager asked me if, for a week after one of my coworkers up and quit, I could open at five in the morning, which is way outside my availability. I said yes, even though that ran me into overtime. One week became two months, which I did not agree to.
If you're sick, no one cares. Employees with bronchitis were forced to work, even people on the line. If you were coughing or sneezing because of your cold or flu, you were told to do so in the corner and then return to work. Of course having healthy workers replace the sick ones would make too much sense.
Eventually I became sick as well, and because of the amount of coughing I was doing because of my own bronchitis, I would vomit. I tried to call out, and explained my predicament. I was told I was going to be written up. Considering this company is heartless and wrote me up for having to go to an appointment for a federally recognized disability, I wasn't surprised. I quit then and there, and honestly felt better right after.
Afterwards was a nightmare regarding my final paychec...more
ConsHardly any breaks, terrible management, discount under fifteen dollars
Cashier | Bradenton, FL | Jul 25, 2019
My Panera would schedule me for lunch rush mostly (11-2) and right when it gets slow they would cut me so basically I worked 2 hr 30 min shifts. Very poor hours and high turnover rates at my Panera (3-4 new hires usually).
Management was horrible and never communicated with each other making it harder for new workers here who don't know the inner workings. An example would be I was asking where I should leave an unfinished rapid pickup order and one manager told me to put it on the shelf and it would be handled so while doing that, another manager saw me and reprimanded me and then proceeded to tell me something entirely different from the other manager on what to do with that order.
It was known at my Panera that they will throw you into any role and expect you to try and figure your way through it. I was supposed to be trained in cashiering for a couple days but was never trained and one day they were short cashiers and threw me on and I had to eventually figure it out with someone at the next cashier to help me but basically I was on my own so if you're not a fast learner then good luck.
Most of the employees are underpaid for what they do because you have to be cross-trained in a lot of roles. I applied to be a cashier but I had to know how to do backing, barista, expo, food running, and dining (closing dining as well), on top of cashiering. I didn't even start cashiering until three weeks in which was the role that I originally applied for. They didn't let me ...more
Pros50% discount, free drinks, great coworkers at my location
ConsHorrible management, low pay, bad hours, hardly any training
Team Member | Viera, FL | Mar 30, 2019
Great if it’s your first job and you don’t have any bills and literally just want something to do for money
I worked there for a few months and wanted to quit every day I was employed there after the first month. I was told when I was hired that yes I was full time. I’m the span of 3 months I worked over 35 hours for a grand total of 2 weeks. Every other week was 25-28 on average. Some shifts I had were only 3 hours long.
There’s quite a large number of minors that work there and it seemed like schedules were tailored to them and to those that had been there for a few years. For the ENTIRE time I worked there my availability wasn’t followed a complete week not once. Even when I told them I had prior engagements. Never called off once or even switch shifts. Not that I could because everyone was basically a high school student and couldn’t work mornings.
The pay was okay. Started out more the minimum plus tips. But from not getting enough hours-even having to beg for them- that was one of the 3 major reasons why I left.
Some of the people who worked there are very nice. And only 2 of the 5 managers even talked to me like another person/ an adult. One managers wouldn’t let me take 5 minutes to eat a piece of bread. I told them I worked 9 hours that day and hadn’t eaten nor had a bread and I was feeling very sick. I got told “oh give me 10 minutes and I’ll let you” 3 times in the last 4 hours of my shift. Finally I begged to just leave a little early since everyone else had gotten a break and not me. He said “oh no not yet. Ask me again later” I gave up and ended up clockin...more
ProsHalf off food when working, tips, some decent people
ConsToo many to list
Baker | Lebanon, PA | Aug 10, 2019
Good benefits, good pay, awful place to work
Worked as an overnight baker for 7 months. No baking experience, but was trained in under 6 weeks, placed on my own at the 2nd highest volume cafe in the district, normal bakes being around $4,000-7,000 worth of product almost daily. Not including the catering orders. Thankfully this location had a day baker, but the day bakers did very little other than pan up. They never cleaned up, they never pulled the right amount of any product, I moved past that part because whatever, but I was alone doing these large bakes by myself while every other store had at least one assisstant for overnight. Even the lower volume stores had somebody come by on a weekly basis. The BTS's were overworked daily, one of them having to pull a 17 night in a row stretch because the BMM approved other's vacations. I requested off for an anniversary, one night off, all I needed. I told him months in advance that I cannot work that day no matter what. He approved it months in advance and proceeded to ask me 2 days before, "do you really need off for that day? I know it's your anniversary, but I need you in."
I swiftly said I won't show if I'm scheduled.
Got that day off, all well and good. Then he started scheduling me 7 days in a row one week, 6 the next, 7 the next, and would not let anyone come to help me.
That was the bakers side of management experience. The cafe management was rude to their cafe staff, the cafe staff was rude to the management, the staff and management would put a bunch of their...more
ProsFree food, benefits are okay
ConsAbsolutely everything else
Production Lead | East Windsor, NJ | Oct 11, 2019
Laid-back management and stressful for employees
Over the 4 1/2 years I've worked at Panera, my overall experience was just ok. I've been there through 3 different General Managers, many assistant managers, and hundreds of employees. Some of this is thanks to Panera's career paths and opportunities to grow within the company. But this is also where the company fails itself immensely. This creates huge gaps in employment rate and success in keeping those employees. Which then makes it harder on the current employees to effectively carry out their tasks from constantly being understaffed or just ill staffed due to improper training. They over work those employees they know they can take advantage of and let everyone else slide on not doing their job. The management is the biggest issue. Managers are supposed to lead by example and set the pace for the employees to follow. They constantly allow people to call out without covers, come in late without calling, steal food products, and slack off to talk about movies or sports. They over pay the people who do nothing beneficial for the company and underpay those who break their backs everyday going above and beyond. The managers never want to take on the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of the food products and storage, in turn making the employees not care about their work space either. They think constantly saying thank you fixes the fact that they're being overworked. There is virtually no sense of team work and theres always competition between shifts or zones fur...more
Cook | Lake Mary, FL | Jan 22, 2019
Panera is a terrible company
Managers overwork minors consistently. The company takes advantage of loyal employees—overworking them, promising to give them a raise and never following through. It is so rare to get a raise at Panera that you’d have a better shot at becoming a manager because of the store being short-staffed. Because every store is so short-staffed, when managers and employees train a new employee, they have to train them so quickly just so the position is filled that the new-hires are usually left to their own devices and made to figure out the job themselves. The company is so short on managers that if a manager quits, they promote the next person available just to fill the position even if they are completely incompetent, which is usually the case.
Every store is so dirty and disgusting because the store is so busy and managers put so much pressure on employees to get the food out as fast as possible that the employees are forced to cut corners and ignore possibly important health laws. No blame should be put on the employees for ignoring health laws because managers threaten to fire employees that don’t work fast enough and the job is almost impossible to do while following every miniscule rule without going at an almost inhumanly fast pace—and no one there is paid enough to do that. You are constantly micromanaged, there’s no room for error, and the only motivation you have to get your job done is that you don’t want to leave your coworkers with more than they already have to d...more
ProsYou bond with coworkers, you get a lot of experience
ConsLegitimately everything about Panera is a con.