ST. LOUIS, MO - (Marketwired - Jun 5, 2014) - Today, Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) is pleased to announce that 100% of its franchisees have committed to the eCommerce platform that will serve as the backbone for Panera 2.0. This commitment involves payment of capital contributions to Panera as well as on-going commitments to reimburse Panera for each franchisee's share of development costs, maintenance and future upgrades.
"We are very pleased that our franchisees have unanimously embraced 2.0," commented Ron Shaich, founder, Chairman and CEO. "For the past two years, we have shared this vision with our franchisees, allowing them to be both informed and aligned. They asked hard questions. The fact that we received their commitments less than six weeks after making the formal request underscores how supportive they are of our initiatives."
Tom Howley, the Franchise Chairman of the "Bread Council" and a Panera franchisee based in Connecticut, commented, "The Panera franchisee community is very supportive of the moves Panera is making into eCommerce and the broader vision around Panera 2.0. Our focus as a brand has always been on long-term value creation and this will allow Panera to sustain future growth by creating a better customer experience." The "Bread Council" is an independent group elected by franchisees which discusses strategic matters with the company.
Panera expects to have its Rapid Pick-Up system enabled by its mobile app and web apps in place by the end of 2014. The full Panera 2.0 system is expected to be rolled out to approximately 100 cafes by the end of 2014.
As of April 30, 2014, there are 1,800 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by chicken raised without antibiotics, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free Internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.
Matters discussed in this news release relating to future events or our future performance, including any discussion, express or implied, on the timing of the rollout of our strategic initiatives, including Panera 2.0 eCommerce initiatives, and their impact on our business and future sales and earnings, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are often identified by the words "believe," "positioned," "estimate," "project," "target," "plan," "goal," "assumption," "continue," "intend," "expect," "future," "anticipate," and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or the affirmative, that are not statements of historical fact. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our actual results and timing of certain events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, but not limited to, those discussed from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements and the internal projections and beliefs upon which we base our expectations included in this release are made only as of the date of this release and may change. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.