Panera Bread Simplifies Menu to Focus on Core Products

The changes focus on value to customers and reducing stress on kitchen staff.

February 29, 2024

Panera Bread announced that beginning on April 4, customers can expect “a new era” with the company’s largest menu transformation ever, with a focus on innovating and enhancing core menu items: soups, salads, sandwiches and mac and cheese.  

The transformation includes 20 menu updates, including nine new items and 12 “enhanced classics.” The company also said that the “new menu offers guests better value through enhanced portions and lower price points, while also being easier for guests to navigate.”  

According to Panera, the new entrees focus on guest-inspired, widely loved new flavors, done the Panera way, with new salad dressings, meats and cheeses, spice blends and hearty grains.  

“The transformed menu will help streamline operations for bakery-cafe teams, ensuring they can continue to deliver delicious food more easily and always wrapped in Panera warmth,” the company said. 

Panera also added more new menu options below $10, like the tomato basil BLT, ranch cobb salad and mediterranean greens with grains. Plus, the company said, “there will be more to each bite with more chicken and steak on many salads and sandwiches.” 

In addition to the new products, 12 classic menu items—including the bravo club sandwich, chipotle chicken avocado melt, the Fuji apple chicken salad and more—have received recipe enhancements.  

The company announced four new sandwiches, four new salads and bacon mac and cheese. Throughout the month of March, the company said it will share more information on the new menu updates and MyPanera members will get exclusive sneak peeks ahead of the April launch.  

"We are getting back to Panera at its best with these menu updates that are centered completely on our guests and what they love about us," said Alicia Mowder, SVP of product strategy and insights, Panera Bread, "We've listened to thousands of guests on our path to unveiling more than 20 new or enhanced menu items and are thrilled to bring these products to Panera bakery-cafes nationwide." 

"Panera's New Era is incredibly exciting, not only for our guests, but also our associates, who will be able to renew their focus on our core menu and serve our guests more efficiently with enhanced portions and better value," said Debbie Roberts, chief operating officer, Panera Bread. "We are eager to get back to our roots within these core categories and unveil these delicious new menu innovations, all while providing an exceptional guest experience." 

Read “Building a Better Menu” from the October 2023 issue of NACS Magazine to discover how foodservice professionals are refining what their operations offer.