Panera Bread is the latest brand to announce a new prototype that’s driven by the behavioral shifts caused by the pandemic. Like others, they’re introducing a two-lane drive-through and a fully tech-integrated experience that shifts the focus from on-premise dining to the rising numbers of off-premise.
The prototype keeps Panera rooted in a warm, approachable expression the brand has become known for. The interiors are soft and cozy and include some of the standard features known to be iconic of the brand (e.g. fireplace.) The online ordering pickup area is very well considered and simple to find and it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the space.
Outside the brand has a back porch style experience with string lights and simple benches.
“Of course we are adapting to an off-premise world, with convenience and access and all that, but also we are doubling down on the dine-in experience, which makes Panera so special,” chief brand and concept officer Eduard Luz said in an interview with CNBC.
His vision comes through clearly and on-brand in my opinion. I look forward to seeing this prototype in real life.
Note: I could not find the architecture and design team responsible for this project. If you know of them, please reach out so we may credit them.