Panera Bread(R) Takes Manhattan With Opening of 1,500th Store

Tue Feb 7, 2012 8:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  ST. LOUIS, MO, Feb 07 (MARKET WIRE) -- 
Today Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) announced the opening of its 1,500th
bakery-cafe and its first in Manhattan.

    The Company's new location opened today at 330 Seventh Avenue at 29th
Street. As well, Panera Bread announced three other Manhattan
bakery-cafes that it expects to open in 2012. They will be located on
East 86th Street, Fifth Avenue at 40th Street and Union Square. 

    "We are thrilled to be celebrating two milestones today -- the opening of
our 1,500th bakery-cafe, as well as Panera's entry into the food mecca
that is Manhattan," commented Ron Shaich, Panera Bread Founder and
Executive Chairman. "While New York City consumers have their pick of
options, we believe that the Panera experience -- high-quality food
rooted in hand-crafted, artisan bread, served in a warm and welcoming
environment by people who care -- will distinguish Panera from the rest.
Not only are we excited about opening our 1,500th bakery-cafe but we're
pleased about joining four neighborhoods across Manhattan over the coming
months." 

    New to New Yorkers but a favorite of the commuting set 

    Panera Bread currently operates 90 bakery-cafes in the Tri-State area and
has long been a preferred destination of the New York commuter crowd. In
2010 Panera Bread was ranked highest in customer satisfaction among Quick
Service Restaurants in New York by J.D. Power and Associates.

    "Residents of the Tri-State certainly know Panera well as we have, in a
sense, surrounded Manhattan with cafes in the other boroughs," commented
Bill Moreton, Panera Bread's Chief Executive Officer and President. "Many
of our fans outside Manhattan, including Long Island, New Jersey and
Connecticut, have been asking us to come to Manhattan for quite some time
and we're happy to do that for them today. For New Yorkers who have yet
to visit a Panera, we welcome them to visit to our new Seventh Avenue
location." 

    Panera Bread increasingly operates bakery-cafes in high-density
metropolitan areas including Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los
Angeles and Toronto. "Having been successful in some of the country's
largest cities, we felt it was time for us to be in Manhattan," Shaich
said. "We are excited to step onto the world's biggest and most varied
culinary stage. We think New Yorkers are in for a treat."

Recognition

In recent years, Panera Bread has been fortunate to be recognized by
leading food reviewers and polling organizations including Zagat, Harris
Interactive and Sandelman Associates:


--  Zagat -- Voted Top Rated Facility and Best Salad in the 2011 Fast Food
    Survey (large chain category); Most Popular and #2 Healthy Options in
    2010
--  Harris Poll -- Named Casual Dining Brand of the Year in 2011 Harris
    Poll EquiTrend(R)
--  J.D. Power and Associates -- Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction
    among Quick Service Restaurants in New York in 2010
--  Sandelman & Associates -- Ranked #2 among Excellent Large
    Fast-Food Chains (500 or more units) in its 2011 Quick-Track(R)
    Study
--  BusinessWeek -- Named to BusinessWeek's 2010 list of top 25 "Customer
    Service Champs"
--  QSR -- Ranked #1 Fast Casual in 2010 survey of quick casual food
    concepts

    

About the Seventh Avenue Bakery-Cafe
 The Seventh Avenue bakery-cafe
features 102 seats including a mezzanine seating area. The location will
include all of Panera's signature amenities including a relaxing,
comfortable atmosphere and free WiFi, as well as catering and freshly
baked goods baked on-site each night by artisan bakers. Panera's loyalty
program MyPanera(R) will also be offered so that Manhattan customers can
enjoy rewards including complimentary products, invitations to special
events and access to special recipes and communication. All of the
Manhattan bakery-cafes will support City Harvest through the Company's
Day-End Dough-Nation(TM) program and the Community Breadbox(TM) program.
For more information on these initiatives, please visit
www.panerabread.com/about/community.

    About Panera Bread Company 
 As of September 27, 2011, Panera Bread
Company owned and franchised 1,504 bakery-cafes under the Panera
Bread(R), Saint Louis Bread Co.(R) and Paradise Bakery & Cafe(R) names.
Our bakery-cafes are principally located in suburban, strip mall, and
regional mall locations. 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 antibiotic-free chicken,
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 and in our public disclosures,
whether written or oral, relating to future events or our future
performance, including any discussion, express or implied, on the number
and timing of additional bakery-cafes to be opened in Manhattan and their
future operating results, 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," "assume," "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. 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 Form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 28, 2010 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.

    

CONTACT INFO
Linn Parrish
VP Public Relations
314-984-4959
Linn.Parrish@panerabread.com 

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