Panera Bread Franchise Owner Salary, Profit & Failure Rate 2024

Panera Bread is one of the most loved bakeries in the U.S., and as such, entrepreneurs hoping to invest in a bakery franchise might wonder how much does a Panera Bread franchise owner make?

Do not worry! In this easy-to-read guide, we have shared details of the Panera Bread franchise, including its profit potential, sales figures, payback period, pros and cons, and more.

So make sure you read this guide till the end!

How Much Does A Panera Bread Franchise Owner Make

About Panera Bread

Panera Bread is an American bakery-café fast-casual restaurant chain that was founded in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co. by Louis Kane and Ron Shaich.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the company flourished throughout the east coast of the U.S. and became a dominant bakery-cafe operator.

Then in the year 1993, Au Bon Pain Co acquired Saint Louis Bread Company, which was a chain of 20 bakery-cafes in Saint Louis.

By 1997, the company re-staged Saint Louis Bread and renamed their business “Panera Bread.”

In 1999 they sold all the units of Au Bon Pain Co with just one exception of Panera Bread.

Ever since then, Panera Bread has grown to more than 2,000+ locations in Canada and the United States.

If you want to buy a Panera Bread franchise, then you should know that they have some stringent criteria that you must pass. In order to know about their qualification criteria and how much does a Panera Bread franchise owner make, keep reading!

Panera Bread Franchise Key Investment Figures

Cost or FeeAmount or Percentage
Franchise fee$35,000
Royalty fee5.0%
Marketing fee5.0%
Investment (mid-point)$2,291,000
Average sales$2,599,000
Payback period5.5 years
Minimum net worth$7,500,000
Minimum liquid capital$3,000,000

How Much Does A Panera Bread Franchise Owner Make?

The sales of Panera Bread franchise owner varies based on their location, staff members, service, operating costs, and other such factors. Franchise owners of Panera Bread can expect to earn a significant net profit, with an average annual salary of $727,841.

However, as per data, a Panera Bread franchise owner makes $2,599,432 annually in sales on average.

This data is based on the performance of 1,099 Panera Bread franchises, where the lowest-performing unit made annual sales of $1,060,142 and the highest-performing unit made $5,113,281 in sales.

This impressive figure is attributed to the brand’s strong financial performance and an EBITDA margin of 28%.

How Much Does Panera Bread Employee Earn?

The salary of a Panera Bread employee may vary depending on their experience level, location, department, skills, designation, etc.

However, according to Indeed, the average pay of Panera Bread employees ranges from $8.79 per hour for the position of Associate Trainer to $18.89 per hour for the position of Assistant Manager.

And if we look at the salary in annual terms, then Panera Bread’s employee salary ranges from $21,233 per year for the position of Restaurant Staff to $39,967 per year for the position of Front House Manager.

Pro & Cons Of Panera Bread Franchise

Pros Of Panera Bread Franchise

  • Very profitable.
  • Offers territory protection.
  • Offers hands-on training program.
  • Charge royalty fee of 5% only.

Cons Of Panera Bread Franchise

  • Can’t buy a single-unit franchise.
  • $35,000 high franchise fees.
  • Stringent qualification requirement.

Panera Bread Average Revenue & Profit

Panera Bread boasts impressive financial success, with a 2022 revenue of $5.795 billion.

On average, each franchise generates annual sales of $2.59 million, highlighting the brand’s profitability.

As mentioned earlier, the revenue and profit of each Panera Bread franchise may vary based on a number of factors, such as the operating cost, location, etc.

However, the Panera Bread franchise makes $2,599,432 yearly in sales on average, and with a profit margin of 15%, it makes average annual profits of $389,914, which is really good.

This is how we calculated the profit of Panera Bread franchise:

Financial OverviewPercentage of RevenueAmount ($)
Individual Franchise Annual Revenue100%2599432.00
Franchise Royalty Fees5.31%(138094.82)
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)26.56%(690474.12)
Labor (Variable)13.81%(359046.54)
Total (Expenses)85.00%(2209517.20)
Net Profit15.00%389914.80

Note: The displayed expenses are estimates based on industry averages and standard costs. Actual expenses may vary due to factors like location, business size, and market conditions. We recommend conducting detailed research or consulting with a financial advisor for a tailored financial analysis.

Panera Bread Franchise Payback Period

To find out the Panera Bread franchise payback period, let us do some calculations:



= 2291000/389914 = 5.8 = 6 Years based on median

The average investment for a Panera Bread Franchise is $2,291,000.

With an average profit percentage of 15%, the average profit per year is $389,914.

This means that the average payback period for a Panera Bread Franchise is 6 years, and the total investment of $2,291,000 would be recovered within this period.

Panera Bread Franchise Failure Rate

Franchised Outlets:

YearOutlets At The Start Of The YearOutlets At The End Of The YearNet Change

For the Franchised outlets:

  • In 2016, the growth rate was (54)/1,045×100≈5.16%
  • In 2017, the growth rate was (13)/1,099×100≈1.18%
  • In 2018, the growth rate was (19)/1,112×100≈1.70%

Company-Owned Outlets:

YearOutlets At The Start Of The YearOutlets At The End Of The YearNet Change

For the Company-Owned outlets:

  • In 2016, the growth rate was (39)/862×100≈4.52%
  • In 2017, the growth rate was (30)/901×100≈3.32%
  • In 2018, the growth rate was (32)/931×100≈3.43%

Total Outlets:

YearOutlets At The Start Of The YearOutlets At The End Of The YearNet Change

For Total outlets:

  • In 2016, the growth rate was (93)/1907×100≈4.87%
  • In 2017, the growth rate was (43)/2000×100≈2.15%
  • In 2018, the growth rate was (200)/2043×100≈9.78%

According to the above-mentioned data, there is no failure rate for franchised outlets as the outlets at the end of the year increased during the span of 3 years.

We can see that the franchised outlets for Panera Bread grew from 2016 to 2018, showing a growth rate between 5.16% and 1.70%. On the other hand, for company-owned outlets, the growth rate of Panera Bread was quite high, lying in the range between 4.52% and 3.43% for the same period of time.

Overall, when we combine the data of franchise and company-owned outlets, we can see that the Panera Bread franchise has expanded in the years 2016-2018, showing a total growth rate between 4.87% and 9.78%.

Panera Bread Might Be The Hardest Franchise To Get

Panera Bread Might Be The Hardest Franchise To Get

Panera Bread does not offer single-unit franchises and needs someone who has the capability to invest in multi-unit franchises.

Along with this, it also has strict qualification requirements that the candidate must meet to qualify for this franchise. Here’s what the individual needs:

  • Minimum net worth of $7,500,000.
  • Minimum liquid capital of $3,000,000.
  • Experience running a multi-unit restaurant.
  • Recognition as a top restaurant operator
  • Resources and infrastructure to meet their development schedule.
  • Real estate experience.
  • Commitment to the development of Panera Bread.

Facts About Panera Bread

  • Panera Bread only plays classical beats in all of its locations.
  • Panera Bread operates a “Pay what you can” system in selected lower-income locations where the customers pay whatever they can in order to buy a food item.
  • The bakery makes its bread fresh daily, and the leftover items are sent to charity.
  • Panera Bread is the first national chain to list the calories of its items.
  • With a few exceptions, Panera Bread offers free coffee refills.
  • Panera uses very high-tech gadgets for the convenience of the customers so that they do not have to wait in lines to get their orders.
  • Some locations of Panera Bread in St. Louis are still named as Saint Louis Bread Company.
  • Panera Bread owns a number of bakeries in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, and Texas by the name Paradise Bakery and their menu is almost the same as Panera’s menu.
  • Once, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi in the country.


What Is Panera Bread Best Known For?

Panera Bread started as a humble local bakery store, and today, it is known nationwide for its iconic sourdough bread, healthy salads, sandwiches, and soup combos. It also serves other delicious bakery items, including bagels, cookies, pastries, etc.

Panera Bread prepares its bread daily and takes pride in serving it fresh. They also use high-tech gadgets to ensure that the customer does not have to wait in line for a long time.

If you have never been to Panera Bread, then here are some items that you must eat:

  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
  • Chicken Sandwich. 
  • Creamy Tomato Soup. 
  • Chicken Noodle Soup. 
  • Baked Egg Souffle. 
  • Mexican Street Corn Chowder. 
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. 
  • Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken. 


Is Panera Bread Franchise Profitable?

Is Panera Bread Franchise Profitable

Panera Bread is definitely a profitable franchise to invest in, and franchise owners can enjoy a profit margin of 15% and make as much as $404,879 in yearly profits on average.

Even the average sales figure of the Panera Bread franchise is strong, with franchise owners making $2,599,432 in average sales. And compared to the industry standard, this is 1.5x times higher, which is fantastic!

However, the only problem is its high-cost investment of $2,290,500, which you will be able to recover in 5 years on average.

Panera Bread Franchise Earning Potential

Panera Bread is only limited to the USA and Canada as of now, and there is a lot of potential for growth of this franchise, especially if they decide to expand globally.

And if we talk about the taste and popularity of Panera Bread, then the company excels even there with good popularity.

And even in terms of the sales figure, the highest-selling franchises made as much as $5,113,281 in sales which leaves a lot of room for the franchise owner to make more amount of profit.

Overall, the earning potential of Panera Bread is high and international expansion of this franchise would open up floods of opportunity and growth in the future.

Wrap Up

Now that we have looked at the details of the Panera Bread franchise, here’s what we can say:

Panera Bread is a recognized brand in the bakery industry, and it generates high amount of profits each year.

However, you must meet some strict requirements in order to be eligible, and it would take 5.5 years approximately to recover your initial investment amount.

Also, Panera Bread offers only multi-unit franchise oppurtunity.

So if you have the relevant experience and money, then investing in this franchise might be a good decision for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much royalty and marketing fees does Panera Bread Charge from its franchises?

Panera Bread charges royalty fees of 5% of net sales and marketing fees of 5% from their franchises.

What is the initial franchise fees of Panera Bread?

The initial franchise fee of Panera Bread is $35,000, which is comparatively high. 

What is the total investment required to open a Panera Bread franchise?

You will need investment in the range of $1,117,000 – $3,464,000 in order to open a Panera Bread franchise.

Who owns Panera Bread?

Panera Bread is owned by JAB Holding Company which in turn is run by the Reimann family of Germany.

Where is Panera Bread Headquartered?

Panera Bread is headquartered in St. Louis, 3630 S Geyer Rd #100, United States, and has 2 office locations.

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