Panera Bread has a four-step plan to combat slowing sales and rising competition, according to a recent research report by Goldman Sachs.
The plan is meant to “improve service and ultimately the overall customer experience,” the analysts write.
These four changes will take effect in 2014:
1. Adding labour. Panera Bread is hiring more employees. It also plans to give current workers more hours. This will ease the burdens on staff and give them more time to assist customers.
2. New equipment. The company is spending millions to add new food preparation equipment, which will also reduce wait times, according to the note.
3. New menu. The brand is eliminating some “hard-to-produce,” items, according to Goldman. “Among other benefits, this new menu, which has already been tested, is meant to reduce consumer confusion/indecision that slows down the line at the point of sale during peak periods,” the analysts write.
4. Catering hubs. Instead of running its catering business out of stores, Panera Bread will build hubs that will service three or four locations. This will keep employees focused on customers.
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