Panera Bread Company PNRA announced today that it is looking to increase its delivery service from 15% of its locations to 35% to 40% of stores by the end of this year.
Panera was acquired in a $7.5 billion deal earlier this month by JAB Holdings, a German private business that owns Krispy Kreme, Einstein Bros. Bagel and variety consumer food and drinks brands, and company has already started utilizing the funding. (For more information on the buyout, check out this Zacks' article: Panera Bread (PNRA) Stock Soars on Buyout from Krispy Kreme Owner )
The bakery-café chain will seek to fill 10,000 new positions related to the delivery services, as both company-owned and franchise locations will be offering deliveries.
Instead of partnering up with delivery services like UberEats, DoorDash, Seamless and GrubHub, Panera is doing everything in-house. Customers will be placing their orders through the company's new mobile app, Panera Delivery. Furthermore, customers will be able to track their orders on the app similar to Uber or Lyft, with the delivery driver's name, photo, and GPS location displayed.
The delivery service will be available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
"In many places across the country, all that's available for delivery is pizza or Chinese food," said Panera CEO and founder Ron Shaich. "We're closing the gap in delivery alternatives and creating a way for people to have more options for real food delivered to their homes and workplaces."
The major players in the food service industry have all shifted their focus toward menu innovation with mobile and kiosk-based digital ordering. McDonald's Corp's MCD decision to roll out mobile ordering last week earned its stock upgrades from two financial firms. (To learn more about McDonald's mobile ordering, check out this Zack's article: Here's Why McDonald's (MCD) Stock Just Hit an All-Time High )
While the Saint Louis-based company expects it will cost an average of $25,000 per store to launch the new delivery service, the company believes it will add an average of $2.6 million to each store's annual revenue.
Panera is trading slightly up at 0.04% to $314.31 per share; however, the company's stock has rallied more than 50% since the beginning of 2017.
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