Panera Bread Company is a chain store opened in 1981 and is popularly known for its signature bread. The company, through its chain of stores, offers a variety of meals ranging from hot breakfast selections to salads and smoothies. As at 2016, the company had opened 1972 company-owned and franchised bakery-cafes across North America and Canada. However, the success story of Panera Bread Company has been hampered by strategic problems and competition owing to the fact that the fast food industry is a multi-million dollar company. Regardless of the stiff competition and the delayed customer service delivery, the company through the use of generic competitive strategies, technology, and diversification of products, has managed to retain and attract more customers.
The goal behind setting up of Panera Bread Company was to serve the modern and the suburb areas with quality and signature meals. However, strategic problems such as the long lines of customers at the Panera cafes and the limited geographical presence have greatly influenced the company's inability to generate as much profit. For instance, the busy schedules of its customers and the long lines experienced at the cafes have prompted customers to incline more to fast-food chains such as McDonald's and the Subway due to the high and fast dining experiences. As a way of adapting to changes in the market, incorporation of features such as a drive-through would help to deliver services to consumers without necessarily having to get into the cafes.
Similarly, the company is limited to North America and Canada. Based on an analysis conducted by Zion Market Research, the global fast food market was estimated at USD 539.63 billion in 2016 (Zion Market Research, 2017). In addition, due to the growing demand for fast foods, the market value is expected to rise above USD 690.80 billion by 2022. Setting up Panera outlets in other parts of the globe will not only ensure the provision of quality meals but also spreading the company's base to exploit the growing demand thus generating more profits.
Attracting and retaining customers is a fundamental aspect of generating profit. Through the use of generic competitive strategies, Panera Bread Company has adopted Concept Essence, themes intended to promote the growth of the company by addressing consumer needs and setting its services aside from its rivals. There are six themes contained in the Concept Essence. Five of those include; providing a variety of quality selection ranging from artisan bread to bagels and pastry products that are handcrafted and baked daily at each cafe, development of a diverse menu with a wider variety of meal selection to serve the different consumer needs, designing cafes that are aesthetically appealing and inviting thus enhancing the ambiance of its chain cafes, investing in customer service and provision of high-quality food at prices that represent a good value. Based on the above themes, the company has focused on using differentiation focus as a competitive generic strategy. This is because; the company has narrowed down on service delivery and provision of products that address the needs of its customers.
Due to the demand for quality fast-food, the industry is one that has attracted a lot of competition. Despite the provision of quality products and ambiance, Panera Bread Company has had to compete for customers from a number of rivals. Some of the key competitors as per the type of meal that is breakfast, lunch or dinner are; during breakfast hours, Panera's key rival is Starbucks as it offers quality coffee. During lunch and dining hours, Applebee's offers quality chicken that overruns the standards set by the chicken meals offered by Panera.
Technology is an important aspect of promoting business. In 2012, research conducted by Statista concluded that the number of people in the United States who owned a smartphone was 122 million (Statista, n.d). Therefore, technology has proven to be a great tool for promoting business. As a way of maximizing on the use of technology, Paneraadopted the use of an application, Panera 2.0, in 2012 a digital platform that was intended to assist customers in assessing and the ordering of food either as dine-in, to-go or in large delivery orders. In addition, the application served the purpose of assisting customers by showcasing the wide variety of products offered by the company. Similarly, by improving the guest experience, the management of the Panera Bread Company was hoping to attract more customers as well as improving efficiency at the company's bakery-cafes. Based on the company's results highlighted by CEO Ron Shiach the use of Panera 2.0 had helped to increase sales growth. The labor costs and the guest complaints had greatly improved.
The use of Panera 2.0 as a form of promoting the company's products was an essential scheme in ensuring the growth of the company. Technological advancements have ruled out on some of the traditional forms of advertising. More people spend time on their phones, therefore, the use an application highlighting the variety of meals offered by the company ensures that the business not only serves the customers visiting the physical establishments but also those who may not have the time to visit the cafes. Other than aiding in the serving of more customers, the use of Panera 2.0 has helped the company in improving the quality of services offered. Being that Panera has adopted the use of an application, Panera 2.0, in 2012 a digital platform that was intended to assist customers in assessing and the ordering of food either as dine-in, to-go or in large delivery orders, the end result will yield larger market coverage and offer greater efficiency and productivity in general.
Conclusively, technology is an important aspect of promoting business. Technology has brought tremendous changes and by the year 2012, research conducted by statistics concluded that the number of people in the United States who owned a Smartphone was 122 million (Statista, n.d). Through this, it is important to note that technology has proven to be a great tool for promoting business and with the current development, it is impossible to access great population and even a larger market share without involving the use of technology. As a way of maximizing on the use of technology, Panera adopted the use of an application, Panera 2.0, in 2012 a digital platform that was intended to assist customers in assessing and the ordering of food either as dine-in, to-go or in large delivery orders. This will help the company gain greater market share and offer effective services to clients. Notably, by working to improving the guest experience, the management of the Panera Bread Company was hoping to attract more customers as well as improving efficiency at the company's bakery-cafes. Based on the company's results highlighted by CEO Ron Shiach the use of Panera 2.0 had helped to increase sales growth. The labor costs and the guest complaints had greatly improved.
Global fast food market will reach USD 690.80 Billion in2022: (2017).ZionMarketResearch. Retrieved from https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/03/01/929307/0/en/Global-Fast-Food-Market-will-reach-USD-690-80-Billion-in-2022-Zion-Market-Research.html
Number of smartphone users in the United States from 2010 to 2022 (in millions). (n.d). Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/
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