Panera Bread Franchise

Panera Bread has become one of the most popular franchises in the United States and beyond, with over 2,000 locations worldwide. This quick-service bakery-café provides customers with a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

However, before franchising with Panera Bread, there are important details to consider.

This article will provide an overview of how to franchise with Panera Bread and explain the franchise fees, training requirements, restrictions, renewal terms, and return on investment for potential franchisees.

With this information in hand, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not becoming a Panera Bread franchisee is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to become a Panera Bread franchisee.

Panera Bread Franchise
Panera Bread Franchise

About The Panera bread 

Panera Bread began life in 1981 as the Saint Louis Bread Company, a small bakery-café located in Kirkwood, Missouri. The first location was founded by Ken Rosenthal and Ron Shaich, two childhood friends with a passion for baking.

The two men had ambitious plans to expand their business.

In 1993, they changed the company’s name to Panera Bread and opened more locations throughout St. Louis and other cities in the Midwest.

Over the next decade, the company grew rapidly—expanding nationally, acquiring new companies, and adding menu items such as salads and sandwiches.

2001 – 2014

In 2001, Panera acquired Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., giving it more than 500 bakeries nationwide. With this acquisition came some of Au Bon Pain’s most iconic products, such as the Tomato Basil Bread and the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel.

By 2012, Panera had become the largest bakery-café concept in the United States, with 1,800 locations nationwide. At this point, Ron Shaich stepped down from his role as CEO to become Executive Chairman.

In 2014, Panera announced it was going public and became a publicly traded company on Nasdaq under the symbol PNRA. A year later, they purchased Paradise Bakery & Café, an Arizona-based café chain. This acquisition added nearly 100 more stores to their portfolio.


Today, Panera is a leader in fast-casual dining, with over 2,000 bakery-cafés in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

The company continues to innovate and create new menu items while staying true to its commitment to freshly-baked artisan breads and delicious, wholesome foods. In 2019, Panera also introduced delivery services in partnership with DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates, and their delivery service.

Recently they have also begun offering catering services! With all these changes over the years, one thing remains consistent: Panera Bread is committed to making quality food with fresh ingredients for every customer!

The Business Model Of Panera Bread

Panera bread has different logistics related to franchises. They don’t allow single-unit franchises. So it’s not possible to open just one bakery-café.

If you are interested in opening a Panera Bread franchise, you must develop several units, typically 15 bakery-café in 6 years.

The franchise model of Panera Bread

Investment required$1,117,000 to $3,464,000
 Liquidity$3 million
Estimated Outlets2100

Qualification For The Franchise

  • Cultural fit for bakery and a passion for fresh bread.
  • Experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator
  • Total commitment to the development of the brand
  • Infrastructure to meet the development schedule


Panera bread provides both baking training and retailing training. Baking Training is a six-week program.

You learn to grade product quality, time management, cleanliness, and efficiency in the training period.

And Retail Training consists of one week of classroom training and six-week hands-on training, and trainees shall be tested for knowledge and standard of procedures.

Panera Bread Comparison

Company Panera BreadCinnabon
Founded In19811985
Initial Investment$1,117,000 to $3,464,000$23,100-$430,900
Total Outlet21001,100
Annual Revenue$5.797 Billion$1.3 Million


What is the most popular Panera bread sandwich?

Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

How good is Panera Bread?

Panera bread has a consumer rating of 1.74 stars from 266 reviews.

Does Panera Bread Offer Franchises?

Panera Bread doesn’t offer single-unit franchises. Instead, they allow you to buy multi-units, typically their 15-bakery cafes.

How much does a Panera Bread Franchise Cost?

Panera Bread requires a franchise fee of $35,000, with an initial investment range of $942,200 – $1,600,000.

Who is the owner of Panera Bread?

Panera Bread is owned by JAB Holding Company, a privately-held company based in Luxembourg. The company was founded in 2012 and is owned by the Reimann family, one of the wealthiest families in Europe.

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