Panera Adds Work From Home Options | PYMNTS.com
In many ways, life seems to have returned to normal in much of the United States. Restaurants have reopened, live events are back, and people are reconnecting with friends and family. However, many aspects of consumers’ lives may never return to what they were before March 2020. For example, having become accustomed to the workflow from home, many people who previously spent the entire work week in the workplace. office are now sticking to a remote or hybrid model. With this change in routine, Panera Bread is adapting its restaurant business to this new normal.
Since the bulk of those catering orders come from businesses and educational institutions, CNBC reported, the company is adding options for these institutions to host events in which attendees will participate remotely. The Virtual Events option makes it easy for businesses to order catering meals to send to people’s homes, by billing the event organizer.
“When some people come on certain days and others don’t come at all, how do you maintain this culture, this collaboration, this relationship? Asked Chris Correnti, senior vice president of the company’s offsite chains.
The program is available to members of the chain’s loyalty program, MyPanera. Additionally, Forbes reported, another feature, Panera Day at Work, allows workers to each order their own food through their company, earning a discount on group orders. Currently, 250 companies are benefiting from this program.
Such programs could be the key to the success of restaurant businesses in the future. Data from the PYMNTS The New Digital Consumer: How the Pandemic Has Refused Consumers’ Shopping study found that 39% of consumers have moved from working in the office to working from home, and 83% of those workers intend to continue. to do their homework at least a little as often as they do now, even after they are cleared to return to the office.
“We monitor and assess the changing needs of our customers. Catering is very important to Panera. The good news is we see it coming back, but not like before the pandemic, ”Correnti told Forbes. “It’s a new world and the work has changed. It means finding a way to meet the needs of traditional, hybrid and remote workers. “
These two programs blur the lines between dining and the traditional restaurant experience, as across all food categories, previously separate routines work together, forming a connected food pillar. As Karen Webster wrote in a recent article on consumer behavior in today’s connected economy, “Eat is a new ecosystem that reflects the way businesses and individuals use connected devices, applications , payments, and other technologies to meet the very basic consumer need to get and consume. food.”
Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) that have catering businesses are just starting to see orders coming back, adapting their digital presence to facilitate that return. As Panera integrates catering into its loyalty program, Moe’s Southwest Grill recently spoke with PYMNTS about how its desktop site helps consumers order for events, while its mobile app is designed for individual orders.
Plus, it’s not just restaurants that are adapting to bring foodservice into the 2020s. Boston-based foodservice market ezCater recently announced its Relish Flex program, which allows businesses to incentivize businesses to return to the office with individually ordered meals at participating restaurants. Companies can set a range of different parameters on grants.
As it grows, the company favors loyalty over speed in order to perpetuate its innovations. As Stefania Mallett, co-founder and CEO of ezCater, told Webster in an interview in 2019: “Even though it’s just a handful of extremely loyal customers, who would scream and picket [at] your house, and toss things up if you take away their services, then you know you have a business.