Panera Bread employees share the 8 best and worst deals on the menu

YelpEmployees praised the ‘you-pick-two’ combos.
  • Panera Bread’s menus offer all sorts of options for diners.
  • A total of 11 current and former Panera Bread employees spoke with Business Insider about their experiences working at the restaurant.
  • These employees shared their opinions on the best and the worst deals at Panera Bread.

Panera Bread’s menu has plenty of options for fans of sandwiches, soups, and, most importantly, bread, but does it feature any standout deals?

Business Insider spoke to 11 Panera employees to get their takes on the best and worst deals at the restaurant.

Read more: Everything Panera Bread employees want to tell you but can’t

Eight of those workers said they felt that many of the items were overpriced, but the group of employees also came up with a number of offerings that they thought constituted a good buy.

From the “you-pick-two” combos to the bonus cookies, here are the best and worst deals you can get at Panera Bread:


Five Panera Bread employees told Business Insider that the chain’s “you-pick-two” option — which allows you to add a combination of salads, soups, or sandwiches — is a “nice deal.”


“The you pick two is a pretty good deal if you’re hungry,” one employee said. “It’s hard to go wrong with a soup and sandwich or salad.”


But eight employees concurred that Panera Bread isn’t the best place to seek out deals, calling the menu “overpriced” and “too expensive.”

Helen89/Shutterstock

“Baked goods are generally cheap,” one Panera Bread employee told Business Insider.


But two employees were less enthusiastic about the chain’s 99 cent pastry deal, which holds that customers who purchase a meal and a drink can get an extra pastry for less than a dollar.


“It sounds great if you’re already getting a drink and you might want a cookie later, because you’re probably going to save about $US1.50 on your cookie,” the employee said.


That being said, the employee added that if you’re only adding the drink to your order in order to get the cookie, that usually ends up rendering the purchase “more expensive than just getting the darn cookie.”


It’s never fun to have your order messed up, but one employee said that sometimes they will give out a free pastry to make up for it.


A Panera Bread employee said that the chain’s pasta dishes weren’t a good deal, saying that they’re “not anywhere near the quality of our other dishes.”


And another employee said that the sandwiches were “too small” to justify their price.


Three employees touted Panera Bread’s rewards card as offering up some of the best deals in the restaurant, including free soft drinks …


… free cookies and pastries …


… a discounted order …


… and the occasional coupon.

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