Panera Bread Company
) recently announced that all its franchisees have extended their
support for its e-commerce platform, a part of the Panera 2.0.
restructuring program. Simultaneously, the company also
declared that its board of directors has approved a new three-year
share repurchase program.
Per the assurance, these franchisees will make capital
contributions and will also reimburse their share of development
costs, maintenance and future upgrades related to the Panera 2.0
program's e-commerce upgrades.
Panera 2.0 calls for improvement in operational efficiency and was
launched in Mar 2014. The program aims at lowering waiting time -
one of the major problems faced by Panera - and speed up service.
It mainly includes focus on kiosk and mobile ordering, operational
modifications and plans for smaller restaurants.
The company plans to have a Rapid Pick-Up system - one of the key
elements of the Panera 2.0 program - to be rolled out by the end of
2014 at all its cafes. The system allows customers to place orders
online, select a time and pick up food from shelves. The company
has been able to implement its Panera 2.0 program in 14 cafes and
expects it to expand to 100 cafes by the end of 2014.
Approximately, half of Panera's 1,800 units are franchised. This
100.0% commitment from franchisees toward the company's key
restructuring program would act as a catalyst for this Zacks Rank
#4 (Sell) company and aid profitability.
Meanwhile, the new three year share repurchase program of up to
$600.0 million will replace the existing program that was set to
expire on Aug 23, 2015. We appreciate Panera's efforts to boost
long-term shareholder value. Besides contributing to earnings, the
share repurchase authorization affirms the company's positive
outlook and reflects its confidence in its fundamentals.
Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the restaurant
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.
Burger King Worldwide, Inc.
Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc.
). While Buffalo Wild Wings sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Burger King and Carrols Restaurant Group carry a Zacks Rank #2
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
PANERA BREAD CO (PNRA): Free Stock Analysis
BUFFALO WLD WNG (BWLD): Free Stock Analysis
CARROLS RESTRNT (TAST): Free Stock Analysis
BURGER KING WWD (BKW): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.