Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros Bagels have united to form a new fast-casual platform titled Panera Brands. According to the group, the fast-casual segment is the fastest growing in the food industry.
Niren Chaudhary, CEO of fast casual bakery-café franchise Panera Bread, has been appointed as the Group CEO of Panera Brands.
José Alberto Dueñas, CEO of bagel and coffee chain Einstein Bros Bagels, and John Butcher, CEO of regional coffeehouse Caribou Coffee, will report to Chaudhary while continuing as CEOs of their respective companies.
Between the three brands, there are nearly 4000 locations and 110,000 employees across 10 countries.
“Together as Panera Brands, we are united by our common values and shared belief that we can be force multipliers for good. We exist to provide exceptional experiences for our guests, and to positively impact our communities, the planet, and our shareholders while unlocking the dreams of our teams,” says Niren Chaudhary, Group CEO of Panera Brands and CEO of Panera Bread.
“We believe Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros Bagels together will leverage each company’s unique expertise and services to build an unrivalled fast casual platform with a tremendous runway for growth.”
Panera Bread’s omnichannel retail network, seen in its 2100 outlets, and strong digital infrastructure reflected in its 45 per cent e-commerce-based sales, is expected to increase growth across all three brands.
During the pandemic, Panera Breads also launched its coffee subscription program and Flatbread Pizza, demonstrating “the power of its highly leverageable best-in-class asset base”.
Currently, the company says it has recovered above 2019 levels, emerging stronger than ever and gaining momentum with positive one- and two-year comparable restaurant sales across May, June, and July.
Caribou Coffee’s “sizeable presence” of 713 stores across 10 countries is also expected to aid platform growth.
“Caribou Coffee is proud to be closing out the first half of 2021 stronger than ever,” says John Butcher, CEO of Caribou Coffee. “Our purpose at Caribou Coffee is to create day-making experiences that spark a chain reaction of ‘good’. The creation of Panera Brands enables us to work smarter together, and drive greater impact for our teams, guests and communities.”
Einstein Bros Bagels currently has 1005 stores consisting of Einstein Bros Bagels, Bruegger’s Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels, and Manhattan Bagel.
“At Einstein Bros Bagels, our relentless focus on delivering the most crave-able breakfast experience for our guests and our efforts to transform the business during 2020 allowed us to come out of the pandemic as a stronger, more profitable, and more nimble company,” says José Alberto Dueñas, CEO of Einstein Bros Bagels.
“I’m looking forward to seeing our powerful brand portfolio, executed with a simplified retail model and optimised for a great digital experience, continue to gain momentum.”