5 dishes Panera Bread employees say they'd rather skip

YelpThe mac and cheese isn’t a favourite among employees.
  • Panera Bread employees don’t love everything on the fast-casual chain’s menu.
  • A number of current and former employees spoke with Business Insider about their favourite menu items, as well as the food they tend to pass on.
  • Here are all the menu items that Panera Bread employees said they tended to skip.

Panera Bread offers a menu stocked with everything from the chain’s iconic double bread bowls to savoury combinations of soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Business Insider spoke with a number of current and former Panera Bread employees about what it’s like to work at the fast-casual chain, as well as their favourite and least favourite menu options.

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

Some employees chalked up the reasoning behind their picks to personal preference. Others had some specific quibbles with a few of the dishes.

Here’s what the employees had to say:


Three different Panera Bread employees said they’d never eat the restaurant’s mac and cheese.


One of those employee also dubbed the you-pick-two order of mac and cheese and Caesar salad as Panera Bread’s “most basic order.”


“Branch out and try something new,” the employee said.


A different employee said they weren’t a fan of “any of our broth bowls,” especially the soba broth bowl and the lentil broth bowl.


The restaurant’s tortellini didn’t cut it for another employee. “It smells like plastic when it’s heated up,” the Panera Bread employee told Business Insider.


“I’ve heard a lot of people who say they love it, and I should give it a try, but I can’t get past the smell,” the employee added.


One employee said they were personally not a fan of the broccoli cheddar soup and added that they only “eat 20% of their menu.”


Two employees were lukewarm on the chain’s coffee drinks, with one worker calling the beverages “overrated.”


But two employees said they’d eat anything at Panera Bread, with one adding that they have already “tried everything” on the menu.

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