St. Louis-based Panera Bread Co. is overhauling its fast casual restaurants using kiosks, mobile and Web automation. The company's new Panera 2.0 system automates food-ordering, abolishes long lines and introduces table delivery in its bakery-cafes, the company said in an announcement.
Panera 2.0 allows customers to place their orders in advance via the Web or their mobile phones and specify the pickup time for take-out or delivery to table. They can also place their orders and pay for them at Fast Lane Kiosks inside Panera's cafes. "Kiosk ambassadors" help customers place their orders at kiosks, and digital signage screens in the cafes display the status of all orders, Panera said.
Mobile and kiosk ordering are already available in a limited number of locations, but Panera plans a nationwide rollout in 2015 and 2016, reports the St. Louis Business Journal.
Panera Bread shared its "plan to compete in an ever more digital and omnichannel marketplace" at an Investor Day presentation on March 25. The new initiatives will provide a platform for significant growth and expanded earnings in the future, Ron Shaich, Panera's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
The technology cost for rolling out Panera 2.0 with mobile and kiosk ordering is $42 million, or roughly $125,000 per store,according to the St. Louis Business Journal.