When I first went through training, called Planet Bread, they said, "this will be the best first job you could have experienced. Once you leave us and go to another job, you'll realize how spoiled you actually were!" I know this is true even though I'm still employed. We are spoiled, although there are some negative aspects to the job.
I would like to first say that I started when the cafe FIRST opened, so we were all new. If you have this opportunity, I highly recommend it! There are big differences between opening a cafe and starting in one that has already been up and running.
We started out with training, which lasted a week or so. The hours were non-negotiable (you could either come morning or night) and as a junior in high school (3 towns over) at the time, it was extremely difficult. One con, we were not compensated for this time. We did, however get a crazy amount of free food to take home (it was the food we practiced making).
Once you get that out of the way and are opened about a year, you go from staffing over 4 pages of employees to about 1.5 pages (about 30 total). By this time, everyone has gotten to know each other very well and we all act like family. This is where the opening a cafe aspect comes in to help because we all started at the same level.
They (the managers) try to cross-train as much as possible. This may look like a typical cashier getting trained on salads on a slow afternoon. That's always a fun way to switch it up and can be a pr
ProsEmployee discount, great training program, willingness to hire minors, amazing coworkers, extremely flexible scheduling
ConsLack of communication, rush times are fast paced, rarely give raises
Associate | Uniontown, PA | May 30, 2017
Fast paced, skill-building work with limited opportunities to advance
Panera is a largely, customer driven restaurant in the sense that many of the drinks are self-served (soda, coffee, and teas) along with the condiments that compliment said beverages (sugar, creamers, napkins, lids for cups, etc...). The theme of the store is premium fast-food. I like to compare Panera to a fast-paced version of Olive Garden due to the organic pastas, bread, salads, and soups that are offered by the restaurant, but with an emphasis on very low customer waiting times (Ideally food is served to customers less than 5 minutes after they walk through the door). Smoothies and lemonade/green tea are prepared at the barista, pastries are served at the register, and all other food items for lunch/dinner are prepared on a sandwich line.
Typically, you can expect the day to start off relaxed and slow during breakfast, during which you have an excellent opportunity to prepare the restaurant for the forthcoming lunch rush ahead. During lunch, the building will be packed with customers that typically expect near-perfect service at all times. During these lunch rushes you must have excellent communication skills in order to team up with co-workers and customers alike to keep service smooth and customers pleased. Around 1:30 pm, the flux of customers tapers off and the store can cleaned and restored to a more organized state. Dinner time is much less stressful than lunchtime and closing activities can commence during or shortly after the dinner customers subsided. Oftent
Pros50% discount, transfer between stores, flexible schedules
ConsNo benefits besides discounts, limited advancement, high employee call-off/quit-rate
Associate | Effingham, IL | Mar 19, 2019
An Honest, caring, ethical company that is providing associates with a true job culture
I'll keep it short and sweet the job culture is every single thing any employee could ask for in a job. It became a family and less of a job. If you want to be treated with dignity while in the workplace Panera is for you! If you want to be able to take pride in your achievements Panera Bread. What other company closes their doors early for an evening despite how busy it is to sit down with their entire cafe of employers in each store NATIONWIDE to educate us on the new products, taste test, practice prep, and employee rewards. Simply put PANERA BREAD is fostering a culture not solely employing you. If you want to work for a truly ethical company that with every single honesty every thing they say about the fresh and all natural ingrediants is true. Every single paclage with ingrediants says ex. fruit puree, natural agave sugar, carrots. The dough was truly shipped in for us nightly and baked fresh. Some mac and cheese and things were kept in little plastic pouches, but were still fresh no preservatives or anything (read their mission statement of everything they do not put in food and it is true) of my almost 4 months working there I felt at home and prideful for my employment and to finally work for a clean, positive, honest environment. When there is a problem with any supervisor or employee no matter what the issue you can talk to them or the GM and it is solved immediately, and the GM will always present you with an option to put your complaint in writing or talk to his
Delivery Driver | Pflugerville, TX | Sep 3, 2018
I feel dirty for working here
Had this job (delivery driver) as a secondary job so I didn't go in expecting much and was still shocked by how underwhelming my experience was. Let me start with compensation/benefits:
They advertise that you make 12$-15$ per hour, but that is completely false. When you are on the road you are making less that 6$ per hour. A typical 4.5 hr shift would net me about 20$ if you're lucky. This is not taking into account the gas you use and the wear and tear on your car. While in house, you are being paid at most, 10$ p hour, How can you make 12-15$, when hours go by where you have 0 deliveries. I don't know how many hours have went by where I didn't have a delivery, so you are making well below what they advertise. They also have very unfriendly procedures for the drivers. First off, if you use any form of pay other than Credit Card (such as Apple Pay) the customers aren't even prompted to tip. Thus you are making free deliveries at 30 cents per mile. Also, lets say a customer cancels a whole order because the kitchen made a sandwich wrong, The whole amount is given back (including tip), so you made another free delivery, with no mileage reimbursement, for something that was out of your control. This happens often with certain managers b/c the staff is always inexperienced. I also was approached about a raise a month into my job b/c the staff was extremely shorthanded. I accepted, and yet, never saw that raise up until the day I quit a couple of months later. I was exploited
ProsFree water, enjoyed customer interactions which led me to other career paths.
ConsEverything. Management, culture, pay, communication, lack of training etc.
Associate | South Elgin, IL | Jul 12, 2015
Decent starter job
I started working for Panera around the age of 16. It was my first job.
The training was decent. I spent the first week or so watching videos and taking tests on a computer. After that, I was moved onto "the line" where the sandwiches, soups and salads are made. I had a trainer walk me through everything until I was comfortable. Never once was I thrown into a situation or given a task that I wasn't first trained for and never once was I ashamed to ask questions when I wasn't sure how to handle a certain situation.
The hours were pretty good. I was a high school student at the time, so I was unable to work during school hours and preferred not to close on weekday nights, as I wouldn't get home until almost 11 at night leaving no time for homework and hardly enough sleep before school the next day. The managers were very understanding and would only schedule me for weekends. On weekdays that I WAS scheduled, I was not asked to start until roughly 4:30 P.M. (ample time to get home from school and change into my uniform) and was only scheduled to work until around 8:30 or 9 P.M. When it comes to requesting certain days off, I the managers were also very good. As long as I requested the day off within a reasonable amount of time (1 - 2 weeks before hand), I usually was given the day off.
The people were great. One of Panera's rules is "no jerks". This means everyone you work with is actually fun to be around. We did have a couple of "less than friendly" people
ProsGood training, Great scheduling, friendly staff and customers
ConsLimited growth, occasional crazy customers
Cashier | Miami, FL | Oct 5, 2019
Great People but ok place to work
Honestly, I didn't like my job but The people were great to work with
Here are the Pros and Cons
1.Pretty Good discount for the food. This is a nice convenient option for a quick lunch also the food there is on the healthier side compared to fast food places(It does taste good).
2. They are pretty flexible with how to schedule your work time. which is nice if you're a person who goes to another job or school.
(THERE ARE MORE CONS THEN PROS)
1. Pay is not bad or good is ok(Ask for more what they are offering to you. Trust me they will take advantage of you).
2. You work more than the job your working at. Meaning when they say you are jumping around that is an understatement. Depending on your task this can cause you a lot of stress and is not really worth it.
3. People are not happy I don't know about other Paneras but the one I am currently working at is a bit on the depressing side. Up to management and people who been their job makes you feel less of a person. People flake out more than any workplace I have worked at and I can tell you is not easy. The money you earn for what you are doing at the place Is not worth it.
4. Their is no actual teamwork(it varies a lot which is BAD!!!). The job packet states when someone isn't doing anything they should try to help another place so people can have an easier time. It supposes to be like a cycle in sense is like oh help this person out. Which is a good thing so trust me. Any help within
Customer Service Representative | Brandon, FL | Nov 4, 2015
Would Not Reccomend
I worked for the Covelli Panera for 9 months. I was always on time and in uniform, respected authority, did my job, did other people's jobs, etc.
I had asked for a raise after 7 months, my manager reviewed my performance and commended me on my great work ethic. However, I was never given a raise.
I went through some personal things in my life and ended up getting a tattoo on my wrist. From day one I kept it covered with a bandage. They ended up telling me that i could not wear the bandage the way I did (wrapped around my wrist), so I changed it ASAP. Later they told me that i would have to wear long sleeves ( I worked register so I had the option to do so), that night I used my last amount of cash to buy a long sleeve shirt. Even though I had kept it covered, followed all of their rules, been one of their best employees, etc. They cut my hours to maybe 30 hours every two weeks. At $8.05 an hour I could not live off of that.
I also had a problem with a manager who has since resigned. I had to take a day off and followed policy to try and get it covered. (I asked all of my co workers 4 and 3 days before hand, then 2 days before the day in particular i let my management know that I could not find a coworker to cover my shift, that i would not be able to cover the first half of my shift but would come in for the last half.)(company policy was to call in 4 hours before my shift if i could not come in, again i tried for 4 days before my shift to get it covered and told my manage
ProsDiscount on food under $12 per one employee
ConsCo-Workers, Corporate Managment
Cashier | Saint Robert, MO | Jul 4, 2020
While one of the better places to work in St. Robert, here's a few things to consider before working here.
Panera starts out pretty with pretty good pay, and the environment is not that bad. With their food being on the pricey side, the clientele that come in are far less combative than your average St. Robert customer which for me is another plus. Employee discounts are really good, too. And if you prove to be a hard worker, you can be assured you will get plenty of hours (which can be a bad thing, too).
With that all being said, there are some drawbacks (and rather big ones at that). The managers seem to cater to the younger crowd. When it’s not too busy, you'll see quite a few of them talking with the managers in the office or sitting down with them in the dining room. Additionally, the management appears reluctant to have them do the dirty jobs (ie, emptying and taking out the garbage, cleaning restrooms, and doing dishes in some cases). I have a couple of theories about this, but I won't get into those.
The manager of the entire cafe is average. This person ensures the rules and policies are followed, has an eye for detail, and is generally fair (all are good qualities for a manager to have). Where the manager lacks is scheduling and doesn't pay attention to the areas of the cafe that need the most attention.
As I said before, if you're a hard worker, you can be assured you'll get plenty of hours. Where it's bad is that those hard workers can count on getting worked almost every available hour they put on their availability (at least that's what the manager
ProsGreat starting pay, great employee discount, hours for hard workers
ConsYou'll work almost all the hours of your availability, management favors younger employees, store manager good in some areas-lacking in others
Barista | Wichita, KS | Jan 20, 2013
Fast-paced - love/hate job
Compensation/Benefits - I started at $8 when min. wage is $7.25 without any job experience. I was called five minutes after inputting my online information and had an 'interview' the next day where I was immediately hired. 30 min. before/after a shift or on break we get 70% off food but only 20% off duty.
Culture/Values - Everything is baked fresh overnight so at the end of the shift we give leftovers away to charity. Most of the managers
are cut-throat though, and honestly easily stressed/frustrated/angry.
Two that we have are amazing while the other two are wildly inappropriate (rude, out of line, control freaks, etc) and love to fire people. This is frustrating as it is supposed to be a relaxed, kind, and comfortable atmosphere.
Job Security/Advancement - Like I said, some hop on the chance to fire employees they do not care for. When you R/O, managers do not communicate and will be quick to pass blame onto employees - sometimes causing undeserved write-ups that can get you fired.
Advancement does not depend on how well you do but on how well you kiss up or make the managers laugh or cover their mistakes for them. I've tried very hard to show my abilities and hard work and have never been rewarded (many I work with refuse to do their full jobs, so I stand out). They are supposed to review you every 90 days with the possibility of a pay raise, yet I have worked here six months and have had no such thing.
Management: Like I mentioned, management is hit and miss.
Prosabove minimum wage, good discount while working, employees of similar (young) age
Conshectic, disrespectful managers, micromanagement, no desire to stay there
Delivery Driver | Somerset, NJ | Apr 22, 2019
Good as a temp job or part-time, but lots of cons
On the plus side:
it's true that you get your tips paid out in cash at the end of the shift. This is helpful if you really need extra money immediately and can't wait for a paycheck.
Driving isn't hard work and can be fun. Panera does everything over-the-table and legally which is also a plus because their bookkeeping is good.
Turnover for drivers is so high that if you stay more than like three months you automatically have seniority, and they always need drivers, so your job is safe unless you really REALLY suck at it or you steal or something.
Free water/tea/coffee while working.
The work environment at the Somerset location ime is overall good - not guaranteed with the managers/drivers but with the other associates who do line cooking and catering. What I mean is, most of your coworkers will be good people. So working can be fun.
On the minus side (And there's a lot. Turnover is high for a reason):
You use your own car, and anything that happens to it while driving is on you to fix - and this job puts a lot of stress on your car/puts you in situations where people can sideswipe or rear-end you/makes you drive in snow and poor conditions.
You get paid $5 an hour while you're driving on the expectation that you'll receive tips. You also deliver to offices and places that do not tip. And you're forbidden from asking implicitly or explicitly to be tipped. You can see where I'm going with this.
If you're scheduled until 3, you're not gett
Proscash at the end of the day, free water and fountain drinks and tea
Consreally low pay, NEVER leave on time, little upward mobility, not worth it
Questions And Answers about Panera Bread
What is the best part of working at Panera Bread?
Asked Nov 26, 2019
In comparison to other jobs for my age around here, the pay's pretty good. The discount and free drinks are nice, and if you have a team of good coworkers like I do the day goes by a lot faster.
Answered Feb 26, 2021
The free fountain drinks
Answered Dec 5, 2020
How flexible are your working hours at Panera Bread?
Asked Mar 13, 2020
If you do not have 7 days of open availability, you will be pressured into having that, and they will make your work experience terrible until you do
Answered Nov 5, 2020
Quite flexible. You have to give them the usual 2 weeks notice of upcoming plans but generally pretty flexible.
Answered Oct 30, 2020
What is a typical day like for you at Panera Bread?
Asked Mar 13, 2020
It go fast
Answered Dec 8, 2020
Fast paced, high energy, always something todo. Standing and walking up to ten hours or more with little or no breaks.
Answered Nov 19, 2020
Are you a drug free work place
Asked Nov 2, 2016
Nope not the one I worked at and they need to be a drug free workplace.
Answered Dec 10, 2020
Nope. My store managers knew people came in smelling like weed when they’re on shift, they’d smoke on their breaks in the back... for a company that stresses not smelling like weed so much on anybody but their line, dishwashers, and prep. Delivery, busters, and cashiers were yelled at if that happened. Otherwise its a hay day for them. It was favoritism.
Answered May 9, 2020
Do part time employees get medical benefits?
Asked Aug 24, 2016
No unfortunately part-time employees don't get benefits and anybody out there knows that the employees are the backbone of any company.
Answered Dec 10, 2020
Part time workers can get health insurance but its ONLY after youve put in 1500 hours for the company.