Sunday, July 22, 2007

Since we're on the subject . . .

Panera Bread: I was not a fan after a few visits to the local Panera Bread on University. The sandwich was very mediocre for the price, but . . .
I was traveling on the east coast a few months past and needed internet access for a few hours everyday and happened to be staying near a Panera Bread. Free wifi. After spending a few hours the first day working and accessing the internet I decided to tell the manager what I was doing and thank him for the table use and wifi. After that, every day for 3 or 4 days he would stop by my table and we would chat about the business . . . and all of this to say . . . I'm a convert. I like them, I like their approach, I like they way they treat their people, I like that they bake the bread on-site (at least some of it) so the room is filled with an authentic aroma, and they have a certain efficiency to the way people move in and out. And they are busy, very busy. I ate at least one meal a day and ordered at least one cup of coffee every day for almost a week and I have to say it's good. Not great, but good. A fair deal. The salmon salad is tasty but not quite enough for me. The sandwiches are tasty but not quite enough meat for me, and that's pretty much my conclusion. The pastries are good not great. Fresh, tasty, but not quite enough.
(For the record: Panera Bread, annual sales: $820 million; total stores 1027; founded 1981).

2 comments:

Kevin Buchanan said...

Weird - some of my favorite coffee is that of the Four Star.

Rip said...

Kevin -- maybe I ought to clarify, this was the Four Star downtown, not on 7th, which has always been good.