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The legacy of Panera Bread began in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., It had been founded by the two buddies Louise Kane and Ron Shaich. Panera's bakery cafes are located in 44 countries over the U.S. as well Ontario, Canada. In May 1999, most of Au Bon Pain Co., Inc.'s business units were sold, with the exclusion of Panera Bread, and the company was renamed Panera Bread. Since those trades were completed, the business's stock has increased thirteen-fold and over $1 billion in shareholder value was made. Panera Bread was known as one of Business Week's "100 Hot Growth Companies." According to The Wall St. Journal's Shareholder Scorecard in 2006, Panera Bread was known as the best performer at the restaurant category for one-, five- and ten-year returns to shareholders. (Panera, 2013) Discuss Panera's business level approach. Panera functions in three distinct industry segments; company-owned bakery-café operations, franchise operations, and fresh dough surgeries. At this June 2013 there have been 1708 operating Panera restaurants in 44 states as well as at Ontario Canada both company owned and franchise. That is an increase of 328 restaurants in 4 years. (Panera, 2013) The key element of Panera's expansion strategy centered on growing store profit, increasing trade and gross earnings per trade, using its funding smartly, and putting in place motorists for concept differentiation and competitive edge. Panera has always kept an eye on the current market, the newest markets in addition to existing markets. In 2009 Panera had a strategy that was different than many others. This is the time once the economy took a turn for the worst. Some restaurants reduced their prices to get customers, while Panera kept their costs the same. They e.. .