The Panera Bread Company has over years received awards for being the most innovative Company in food. Customers in the past from 2002-2013 have ranked the Panera Bread Company as among the number one in being the most inviting restaurant in the category. Its consistency concept to maintaining to being the best was the fact that it freshly baked artisan pieces of bread maintained on quality. It also recognized on its menu that dinners preferred a dining creation on the basis of a person mood or preference. Therefore Panera sought to be the first choice for such kind of dinners of salads, sandwiches or freshly baked goods. The Company target market being the suburban settlers or urban workers who preferred light snacks or such fast meals. The management strategy intention was to ensure the Company gets to the point of being nationally recognized as the kind of restaurant that offers quick services kind of dining. The Company had its management concept of always aiming to be better than most of their competitors. Alternatively also make the Panera Bread bakery-cafe a stop joint for many customers and ensure they are retained for long.
However, the management also faces strategic issues that solely affect the overall Company management, its services, and products, visions, missions, and values of the Company. For instance issues on ensuring the management upholds at all times the high level of standards in services delivery to have their customers satisfied and retained. It has been an issue for the company always to have the capacity to serve quality and fresh foods to have customers impressed and eventually come back for more leaving out on competitive joints like coffee houses. The strategic issue is when the management fails to focus on top talent from the chefs its employs to make the food. The chef program of training happens to be pivotable in the maintenance of expectations from its customers who only desire quality and appropriate services. The other strategic problem from Panera Company is their menus tend not to be diversified. It has always been a challenge for the Panera Bread Company to offer different kinds of foods and that has long been an issue in unseating its current customer base. Alongside the issue of the menu, the Panera Bread Company has the problem of not having a secret menu. Secret menus have proven to have been of benefit to most restaurants as it creates the relationship between customers and the chain. After all the strategic issues identified the last problem of PB is the fact that it lacks a continuous customer feedback. Every management requires a customer feedback mechanism as it opens up to chances of refining the satisfaction of customers. From feedbacks, management can have the capacity to know what their customers prefer and give responses and alternatively get back to customers undesired preferences.
Panera Bread Company case analysis seems to integrate concepts across the business curriculum to work on the strategic issues that needed address. For example, the Franchise Operations for Panera Bread Company it was one core element to open up additional franchised kind of cafe. The purpose of that was to attain the revenue growth of the company and earn targets. However, Panera Bread due to issues of strategic management failed to grant single-unit franchises thus a franchisee could not open even one. The strategy was to have the franchise agreement to have in every six years the franchise developer opening up a number of units.
Upon evaluation of the right site selection for a bakery cafe, Panera surveyed the area and attained the areas demographic data and all the needed information pertaining its closest competitors. From the attained data and its analysis inclusive of usage of the predictive modeling the proprietary software. It, therefore, came up with sales projections which proved the Cafe to be a success as units on their own as well as in end cap locations at strip malls. Panera bakery cafe had an engaging environment which from the overall management termed it as Panera warmth. On industrial factors, the Cafe used stainless silverware, later years it established a new cafe design that was further refined to enhance its appeal to customers. Its design included cozier seats, with high-quality furniture, relaxing decor and with comfortable gathering sites. The environmental factors of the Bakery incorporated locations of fireplaces to create an atmosphere that is hospitable and alluring to customers. It purposes was to ensure patrons regularly flocked for meals or breaks of light snacks. The environmental factors required outdoor seating and those locations that are more franchised or with companies had accessibility to wireless internet. It served to make the bakery cafe a place of community gathering where individuals would meet for business related stuff or just get there to relax. It is also an environmental factor of strategy that Starbucks used and attained great success. Later in 2006, Panera sought to change on its store designs upon evaluation of environmental factors. The operating systems had the ability to free stand at end cap places and incorporate windows that were drive-thru. Eventually, that saw off the doubling of sales particularly locations with drive-thru windows unlike those that lacked that kind of capability.
Strategic Recommendations for Panera Bread Company
First and foremost the Company should uphold changes in their marketing strategy. For years the Company has built on its brand awareness to satisfy its customers following the dining experiences an individual gets at Panera Cafe. However, the management should prompt on changing the marketing initiatives to aim at raising more awareness regarding quality as well. It can do so by continuous featuring of appeals of its types of pieces of bread by pinpointing on themes as, "Food you crave, foods to trust." That appeals more customers to get to their bakery-cafes. The other marketing initiative would be boosting customer trials at the Panera by having various meal times. It could be coming up with lunch meals, breakfast meal times, dinner or even chill out meal times all these tend to meet all criteria of customers who may want to have the experience at Panera Cafe. The other marketing approach to introduce would be increasing the customers' perception to the Panera Bread probably as a viable meal of evenings by introduction of new entree in selection of menus. Panera Bread Company should also go a long way in increasing its brand awareness this deals with the strategic issues at hand. Therefore that calls for promotion of its brand to its target market by going to the extent of even employing mixture of radio billboards, the internet, social networks and periodic cable television campaigns of advertising.
Additionally, on the strategic recommendation for the management of information system. Every company-owned bakery cafe should have programmed point-of-sale registers to collect all transactions data to be used in generation of product mix, transaction costs, average check size and all other pertinent statistics. All prices of selected menus should be programmed from the company data support centers to point-of-sale registers. In this case analysis, Franchisees should be given the accessibility to some parts of the Panera bakery cafe so as to play the role of provision of appropriate menu prices, tax rates for the system programming and the discount rates. The Panera Bread Company has always been extremely competitive thus at most times pursue to meet differentiation in strategies to seek to change on food quality, dining ambiance and services offered. The other strategic recommendation will, therefore, call for further promotion of great customer traffic by introduction of even children menu, trendy dishes, and diet-conscious menus or happy hours meals. As such it changes the adaption of customers to the regular meal to change their preferences and thus attract more customers. The customer perceptions become that the restaurant offers better alternatives and not risk it to go out of business anytime soon. It also establishes the customers' loyalty as when pleased they would sure visit the place more often. Ultimately incorporating all the stated strategic recommendations for Panera Bread Company then its sure would be a booming business thus successful since it would lack inconsistency in food quality, poor site location, meal costs or poor delivery of services.
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