ST. LOUIS, Oct. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Panera Bread today announced it is one of the first national restaurant concepts to offer the ability to order via voice for delivery and Rapid Pick-Up with the Google Assistant on their mobile devices. My Panera members in St. Louis and Silicon Valley participating bakery-cafes can now place and pay for their orders using the Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant developed by Google. Full rollout and implementation nationwide for all guests is anticipated by the end of the year.
Google Assistant users can say, “Ok Google, ask Panera for delivery” or “Ok Google, talk to Panera.” The Panera app for the Google Assistant will show them the menu, suggest past menu items based off of history and walk the user through menu items. Users will pay from their saved wallet information with proper authentication. Panera’s voice-activated ordering integrates with MyPanera®, the restaurant industry’s largest loyalty program with more than 27 million members. Voice-activated ordering will be available via the Google Assistant on eligible Android phones and iPhones.
“With more than 1.3 Million digital orders placed a week at Panera, there is a clear demand for voice-activated ordering methods, and this integration with Google is a step towards an even better guest experience,” said Ron Shaich, Panera’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Since the inception of its Panera 2.0 program in 2014, the company has emerged as an industry-leading restaurant e-tailer. Approximately 30 percent of total company wide sales are digital. Panera’s end-to-end digital channels, including Rapid Pick-Up, Fast Lane Kiosks, Catering and Delivery, enable a better guest experience for people to eat the way they want, where they want and when they want.
Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president, said, “Voice-activated ordering powered by artificial intelligence is the future. We know the industry is in its infancy. While we know we still have a lot to learn, we’re proud to develop, test and refine this capability in partnership with Google. In the long run, the ease and convenience will be meaningful to our guests. In fact, placing a voice-activated order in many cases is more than 80% faster than a traditional app order.”
In addition to Panera’s Rapid Pick-Up service, Panera’s newest service, Panera Delivery, will be available for voice-activated ordering. Panera Delivery provides lunch and dinner to offices, hospitals, campuses and homes, typically within an eight-minute drive of a Panera bakery-cafe. Cafes generally deliver between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, for as little as a $5 menu purchase plus a $3 delivery fee in most locations. To find out if Panera delivers in your area, visit www.PaneraBread.com.
Through MyPanera, guests are able to save their favorites, earn and track rewards, and receive personalized special offers. Panera’s mobile app can be easily downloaded for iOS and Android, and guests can sign up for MyPanera at www.PaneraBread.com.
About Panera Bread
About Panera Bread Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.
So we began with a simple commitment: to bake fresh bread every day in our bakery-cafes. No short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.
These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing artificial additives (flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and colors from artificial sources) from the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.
We’re also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-Up for to-go orders and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests.
The result, Panera has been one of the most successful restaurant companies in history. What started as one 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has grown to a system with over 2,000 units, approximately $5 billion in system-wide sales, and over 100,000 associates. In more than 25 years as a publicly traded company, Panera has created significant shareholder value. Indeed prior to the JAB acquisition in July of 2017, Panera was the best performing restaurant stock of the past 20 years, delivering a total shareholder return up 86-fold from July 18, 1997, to July 18, 2017, compared to a less than two fold increase for the S&P 500 during the same period.
As of September 26, 2017, there were 2,050 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co. ® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. For more information, visit panerabread.com or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook (facebook.com/panerabread) or Instagram (@panerabread).