With more than 2,000 locations across the globe, Panera Bread has grown to be one of the most well-liked franchises in the US and elsewhere. Customers have a special experience at this quick-service bakery-cafe that is unmatched by any other business.I will elaborate on Panera bread franchise info,cost and reviews

What is the Panera Bread?

The Saint Louis Bread Company, a little bakery-cafe in Kirkwood, Missouri, was the predecessor to Panera Bread when it opened its doors in 1981. Two childhood friends with a love for baking, Ken Rosenthal and Ron Shaich, opened the first restaurant. They had grand ambitions for growing their company. They changed the name of the business to Panera Bread in 1993 and added more shops in St. Louis and other Midwest areas. The business expanded quickly over the subsequent ten years by buying other businesses and adding new menu items including salads and sandwiches.

With more than 2,000 bakery-cafes spread throughout 43 states and the District of Columbia, Panera is currently a leader in fast-casual dining.

The main reason why people choose Panera Bread is because of the healthy diet options it offers. According to their website, which claims to be a market leader in the bakery-cafe franchise industry, the company promises to deliver food that is “better for you, our associates, and the world we live in” as provided in their website. 

Is Panera Bread a Franchise Opportunity?

Panera Bread can be considered a franchise opportunity, although it is pertinent to note that different logistics tend to apply to franchises at Panera Bread. Franchises with only one unit are not permitted. Thus, opening only one bakery-cafe is not an option.

If you want to start a Panera Bread franchise, you need to build a lot of locations, typically 15 bakery-cafes in 6 years.

Facts That Nobody Told You About Panera Bread

  • It originally was called St. Louis Bread Co.
  • Panera stands for Bread Bowl. 
  • It has more than 2000 locations.
  • Panera Bread is known to be the first store to provide for calorie counts. 
  • It gives back to the people and community via local hunger relief organizations. 
  • You are not required to pay at several locations. 
  • Their stores offer free refills of coffee. 
  • Classical music is played at all times in their stores. 
  • It has a bakers-in-training program for children. 
  • Their charged lemonades have high caffeine content.
  • The bread offered by them is baked in the store but not made there. 
  • One can add a lot of free toppings to their sandwich. 

Panera Bread Franchise Review and Information

Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities
Sub Category Subs and Sandwich Franchise Opportunities
Year Established 1981
Company Name Panera Bread Company
Founder/Management Head Ronald M. Shaich
Franchising Started             1981
Franchise Expansion Plan The United States and Canada
Number of Units               2,115
Number of Franchise Units                 1,112
Social Media Handles                   Facebook
Company Office location  St. Louis, Missouri

Panera Bread Franchise Requirements

Franchisees must name an individual approved by the franchisor as the “Operating Partner” in the franchise agreement. This person must meet the following requirements:

  • Own and control less than 10% of the equity or have the right to do so
  • Have the power to bind the franchisee with regard to all communications with the franchisor and operational decisions with regard to the cafe
  • Have successfully completed the training

The Operating Partner must

  • Devote his or her full attention and best efforts to the growth and management of the Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe and all other Panera Bread Bakery-Cafes the franchisee owns
  • Refrain from engaging in any other business or activity, directly or indirectly, that necessarily involves significant management responsibility or deadlines or otherwise may disagree with the obligations under the Franchise Agreement. 

Franchisees are required to sell all food, drinks, other goods, and services that the franchisor deems appropriate for Panera cafe from time to time. Without prior written consent, a franchisee’s Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe is not allowed to offer any goods or services that the franchisor has not approved for Panera Bread Bakery-Cafes.

Other qualifications to become a franchise owner includes 

  • A love of fresh bread and a cultural fit for the bakery.
  • Experience managing many restaurants
  • Complete dedication to brand development 
  • Infrastructure to achieve development schedule
Panera bread franchise

How much does a Panera Bread franchise cost?

The franchise cost of a Panera franchise can be summarized as below

  • Initial franchise fee: $35,000
  • Initial investment: $942,200-$1,600,000
  • Net worth: $7,500,000
  • Cash requirement: $3,000,000

Further, the royalty fee and advertising fee to become a franchisee is 5% and 2.6% respectively.

How much does it cost to franchise a Panera Bread in the United States?

Panera Bread Franchise Startup and On-going Franchise Cost
Panera Bread Franchise Fee $35,000
Panera Bread Franchise Cost $942,200-$1,600,000
Royalty Fee 5%
Advertising Fee 2.6%
Term of Agreement 20 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
Veteran discount  

Panera Bread Training to Franchises

Before operating the Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe, the Operating Partner and any Bakery-Cafe general managers, assistant managers, and bakers who have not yet graduated from the franchisor’s approved training programs must successfully complete the relevant training program. The Operating Partner is required to complete both the Baking Training and the Retail Training, which combine classroom and practical instruction on all aspects of running a bakery cafe, including equipment maintenance and operation, inventory control, fundamental baking techniques, food preparation, and cost control. 

Baking Training is a six-week course given by a baker trainer, and it concludes with an exam of product knowledge and a single bake that will be scored on the basis of the quality of the product, time management, efficiency, and cleanliness.

A general manager who has received training certification conducts a seven-week program called retail training. Six weeks of hands-on training and one week of classroom instruction make up retail training, and learners must pass a knowledge test and be observed using the right standards and practices.

How is Panera Bread Territory Granted to Franchises

The ability to own and run a Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe at a specific site is granted to franchisees by the terms of the franchise agreement. Except in certain limited circumstances, unless the parties have agreed to a different Protected Area, the franchisor can not operate a Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe or grant a third party the right to do so within a geographic area that is a radius of one mile from the center of the premises. It is predicted that Bakery-Cafes located in one of two types of geographic locations will commonly employ a Protected Area. 

The first category is the “City Center area”. It is defined as having a daytime population of more than 20,000 people within a quarter-mile radius of a site. The second category is an “Urban Residential area” which is defined as having a residential population of more than 50,000 people within a radius of two miles of a location. 

If a location qualifies for both of these classifications, the Protected Area will be determined using the “City Center area” criteria.

Panera bread franchise

What is Panera Bread Term of Agreement and Renewal?

The initial franchise period is 20 years long. In accordance with the conditions of the Franchise Agreement that is in effect at the time, an original franchise may be renewed. The terms and circumstances of the new agreement could differ significantly from those of the first contract. A successor franchise lacks the ability to renew the agreement.

Does Panera Bread provide Financial Assistance to Franchises?

Franchisees are not given any direct or indirect finance by the franchisor. In addition to this, notes, leases, and other liabilities of a franchisee are not guaranteed by the franchisor.

Pros & Cons of owning a Panera Bread franchise


  • Offers healthy items
  • Rewards program
  • New designs 


  • Limited rewards program 
  • Lawsuits and discrimination 
  • Multiple locations 

How much do Panera Bread franchise owners make?

Initial midpoint investment  % Profit margin of average franchise sales Estimated profits  Time to recoup investment 

12.5% $337,399 8.25 years
15% $404,879 7.25 years
17.5% $472,359 6.5 years

Based on the median sales reported by Panera’s franchise locations, it will take approximately 7.25 years to return your investment at an average 15% profit margin. Compared to other franchise opportunities, this one is longer. The time it takes to achieve a return on your investment may be longer if you fail to get a 15% profit margin.

What is Panera Bread franchise profit?

According to Forbes, the Panera Bread location had an annual income of $2.47 million. At this time, it is unknown how much money a store makes. You can bet that Panera Bread is ideally positioned to be a high-revenue generating franchise opportunity given the combination of a drive-thru, in-store sales, and online ordering.

Panera bread franchise

What are Panera Bread franchise reviews?

Panera Bread is dedicated to being an ally to its customers, from focusing on high-quality, clean products to presenting their meals to you in a pleasant and comfortable setting. Soups, salads, and sandwiches that they are happy to provide for their family are created by them.  To eat well, you will not be required to make any sacrifices. 

In addition to this, they offer one of the most extensive customer loyalty programs. These initiatives are not a need for every company, but they do encourage clients to visit them frequently. Customers that are brand loyal are also rewarded with complimentary goodies. You should have no trouble marketing a Panera Bread in your neighborhood with a rewards scheme like this.

They offer one of the most desired loyalty programs which reward their customers with free delights and even streamline the ordering process. Nevertheless, not every Panera Bread location takes part in these initiatives. Your rewards card can only be used at participating Panera Bread stores, according to their website’s frequently asked questions. You will need to inquire once you arrive as they have not specified which locations take part in their program.

Panera Bread is here with warmth and welcome, whether you want to order online or stop by to enjoy a coffee and their free Wi-Fi.

Is Panera Bread worth the franchise cost?

When it comes to providing for their customers, Panera Bread appears to be continuing to grow and innovate in the future. Therefore Panera Bread can be for you if you want to join a business that offers numerous customers wonderful meals and a convenient experience.

If you are interested in learning more about the franchise, it is best to speak with a Panera representative, assuming you match the financial requirements. Working part-time at one of these locations is another simple approach to deciding whether or not you want to run the franchise. This will provide you with practical experience serving clients in person inside a Panera Bread.

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

Even though the epidemic caused a decline in revenue, Panera Bread is continuing to innovate. Instead, they have spent time enhancing online ordering and pick-up. With their new Panera Bread restaurant designs which will have drive-through lanes, they are making things more accessible for their customers.

The size of the stores is also said to have decreased from the customary 4,300 square feet to 3,500 square feet, however, this is due to an increase in speedy pick-ups rather than in-store eating. Panera Bread also aims to improve that experience if dining-in resumes in the future.

As Panera Bread prohibits single-unit franchising, you would need to be ready to support 15 bakery-cafes. If this is too much for you, you might need to work in collaboration with others to manage the responsibilities. Also, it is possible that franchising is not offered in your location.

Panera Bread Franchise Success and Failure Rate

The below table will highlight the Panera Bread franchise’s success and failure rate for the last 3 years. This will supplement your decision-making process.

Year Format Start End Change
2015 Franchise Owned 926 1,045 +119
Company Owned 884 862 -22
2016 Franchise Owned 1,045 1,099 +54
Company Owned 862 901 +39
2017 Franchise Owned 1,099 1,112 +13
Company Owned 901 931 +30

You can review the competition analysis of franchises

                          Competition Analysis of Panera Bread
Panera Bread  Cost to Franchise Franchisee Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Panera Bread  $942,200-$1,600,000 $35,000 5%+2.6% $2.47 million 6.5-8.25 years  
Subway Franchise  $207,050-$476,900 $15,000 8%+4.5% $31,000 6-10 years  
Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise $566,300-$1,585,610 $30,500 5%+2%      
Applebee’s $2,009,038-$8,267,250 $35,000 4%+4.25% $2.4 million 13.5-21 years  
Jersey Mike’s Franchise  $144,668-$786,233 $18,500 6.5%+1% $1.3 million 3-5 years  

The Franchise Deck rating for the Panera Bread franchise is 3.9/5.0.

Panera bread franchise


The fact that Panera Bread provides healthy options is well known. Compared to other fast food restaurants in the US, they provide more vegetables. Also, they support eating clean, which means avoiding adding any unhealthful foods or additions to meals. To fit them within your healthy daily calorie budget, you must still check the calories. Yet, Panera Bread’s menu selections are undoubtedly superior to those of other fast-casual restaurant chains, which frequently provide greasy food.

While keeping its commitment to offering healthful dishes in a sophisticated yet pleasant setting, Panera keeps finding ways to innovate and grow. Although practical, it never compromises on its goal to offer foods that will make people feel satisfied with their consumption. 

Panera Bread has grown into one of the fastest-growing franchise businesses as a result of its carefully cultivated reputation for healthy food served quickly in warm, welcoming settings. These elements work together to make Panera Bread a well-liked meal option in today’s society, which is becoming more health-conscious.

Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise in the sandwich franchise opportunities categories can look at

  1. McDonald’s Franchise
  2. Cheba Hut Franchise
  3. Domino’s Franchise
  4. Pizza Hut Franchise
  5. Schlotzsky deli franchise
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise
  7. Subway Franchise 
  8. Wendy’s Franchise
  9. Jimmy John’s franchise
  10. Texas Roadhouse Franchise
  11. Arby’s Franchise
  12. Charleys Philly Steaks Franchise 
  13. Firehouse Subs Franchise
  14. Jersey Mike’s franchise
  15. Cracker Barrel Franchise
  16. Underdog BBQ Franchise
  17. Sweetgreen Franchise
  18. Shipley Donuts Franchise
  19. Mini Donut Franchise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Panera Bread franchise profitable?

Yes, a Panera Bread franchise proves to be quite profitable. 

  1. Can you make money owning a Panera Bread?

Yes, a potential franchise owner can easily make money owning a Panera Bread franchise. 

  1. Is Panera Bread a franchise?

Panera Bread does not provide any franchises for single locations. Instead, you can purchase larger units, usually their 15-bakery cafes.

  1. How much is the Panera Bread franchise?

To open a Panera franchise, a potential franchise is required to have the following: 

  • Initial franchise fee:  $35,000
  • Initial investment: $942,200-$1,600,000
  • Net worth: $7,500,000
  • Cash requirement: $3,000,000
Published On: March 2nd, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities /


  1. Michael March 15, 2023 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Panera Bread is a great franchise that offers delicious and fresh bread and food items. The menu is packed with a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries. The franchise is known for its friendly and efficient customer service. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very cozy and inviting.
    The franchise has a wide variety of locations throughout the country.
    The franchise also offers catering services for special events.

  2. Byrch March 15, 2023 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Panera Bread is known for its commitment to sourcing fresh and quality ingredients.
    The franchise has an online ordering system that makes it easy for customers to order food from home.
    Panera Bread is an affordable franchise that offers a variety of meal options for everyone.
    The franchise offers a loyalty program for frequent customers.

  3. Annabel March 15, 2023 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Panera Bread has a commitment to sustainability and is constantly looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. The franchise is always looking for ways to innovate and improve their menu.
    Panera Bread is a great franchise to invest in, as it has a proven track record of success.
    The franchise is a great option for anyone looking to start a business in the food industry.

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