Panera Bread / I have had a very horrible experience

United States Review updated:

I have worked for Panera Bread for about a year, and I have had a very horrible experience. First of all, the employees are treated like crap. The managers do what they want, when they want and break any rules they set down for their employees (i.e. eating in the back of the restaurant, smoking while taking out the trash, talking on cell phones, listening to MP3 players while working, etc). I tried to call the corporate store and make an anonymous complaint, but nothing happened, so i submitted another one a month later with my name, and again, no repercussions to them, but I was forced to take a week off while corporate "investigated". Then, when i returned, I was made to scrub floor stains with a Brillo pad and toothbrush for my next 3 shifts. But I was not too upset with this because I have grown used to doing all kinds of ### JOBs while working there. I used to work as a server for a nice sports bar, but I realized that I would have different responsibilities while working at Paneras (i thought it would include making food or doing dishes or something of that nature) . But when I was hired as a CASHier, I had no thought I would spend most of my time scrubbing out the insides of ovens, cleaning out clogged or dirty toilets and bathrooms, scraping off gum (and other substances) stains on the floor and inside refrigerators, and even scrubbing out smelly garbage bins. If I would have known that I was going to be doing janitorial work, then I would have applied as a janitor. These intense cleanings usually all happened near the end of the month when the inspections were, and the rest of the month the store was FILTHY. Also, the sanitary conditions are HORRIBLE, food is dropped and served (they joke Paneras goes by the 10 second rule), food is additionally kept way past expiration dates and most things that cannot be used one day are kept and reheated and served indefinitely. But that was all accepted evil.

What finally made me leave their employment was the fact that they NEVER kept to their employee's schedules. They changed people's schedules randomly and many times forgot to tell the person whose shift they changed. They would let their favored employees show up late or leave early without any punishment, while I got written up the first time I was late (I was 15 min late because I got pulled over on my way there, and I even called them and told them I'd be a few minutes late). They rarely let people go on break and if you were lucky enough to get one, they would chew you out if you clocked back in after 31 minutes instead of the 30 min break they allow. Also, like other restaurants, the managers have to count out the CASHiers at the end of each person's shift before they can leave, but it was nearly impossible to get them to do it. The managers would try to dismiss you between each other, and if you could finally manage to get someone to do it, they would constantly be late. I know that this thing happens, but when it becomes an every day thing, it is hard for employees to have a life. For example, I had to work until 3, and I needed to leave on time to pick up my cousin from his soccer practice so I let my managers know when I came in that I needed to leave on time, but the managers all were "too busy" to count out my drawer when the time came, and when I told them I NEEDED to leave asap, they told me "its your cousin or your JOB". I can know that things get busy (and my store was very busy), but I finished up leaving work at 5 (2 hours after I was supposed to leave). This kind of thing happened so often that I got used to plotting on leaving an hour late. Also, when it was time to close and clean up at night, managers told employees to clock out when the store closed and then they had to clean up (usually for about an hour) after they had clocked out. Most of the other employees are college kids and don't know that the managers are doing a lot of illegal things. Other employees and myself have submitted complaints to corporate and again, nothing.

All this crap was considered normal practice at Paneras, and if you refused anything the managers said, you were threatened with termination. After about a year of slave work and numerous complaints without any resolve, I quit. I have submit many more complaints and I hope that the company gets their stuff together before they get in serious distress. I hope this will reach people that are thinking of applying there so they can realize the horrible work and terrible employee treatment that Paneras lets happen in their restaurants.

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  • Em
      Jul 29, 2008
    Panera Bread - Pay roll Department
    United States

    Ok for the last 2 weeks i have been tryin gto get a copy of my W-2 from Panera Bread after I worked out paradise bakery I have Emailed and Called the pay roll lady dozens of times but she never seems to be in her office. I have emailed for many times and no message. She doesn't seem to have any respect for anybody because the human resources lady at the company i worked at Paradise bread which is owned by Panera Bread cant even seem to get her to do anything. And I need it for Financial Aid so this blows. Panera bread is so rude.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Feb 16, 2009

    For the third time my w2 isn't arriving. They had a good excuse the first year, I gave the wrong address on my application. However, this was easy to correct, as I over an over again gave them the right address. My GM finally corrected it, but the week after it would do any good for this year. Ours is a franchise owned by a man named Paul Cherwien, and I'm not able to use the on line link to view my w2. Also, Paul opted out of in store surveillance camera's, and my work is constantly being misrepresented. The place is a cesspool of lies and corruption.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      Sep 14, 2010

    the same problem here, Panera sucks. Stay away from it.

    +1 Votes
  • Cy
      Oct 04, 2012

    Ladys try calling Panera's head H&R Bruse # (314)984-1000 int # 2645.

    0 Votes
  • Bl
      Jul 03, 2014

    For payroll questions, Bruce is not the person to speak to. He is in the development department. However he was VERY helpful and gave the number to the Director of Payroll. Her name is Barb. She was very pleasant and was able to help me. Unfortunately, since many of these stores are franchised, you have to call the stores directly and speak with the owner or manager to handle payroll issues since the corporate stores only handle the corporate owned stores.

    0 Votes
  • Pi
      Feb 12, 2015

    I also worked for Panera and feel like they are without a doubt the worst company I have ever worked for. I was put in the hospital for 5 days, 3 of those ICU, bc I was bitten by a copperhead snake x2. I went back to work 2 days after getting out of the hospital. It was well established that I would not have full use of my hand back for at least a month. A week later they called me in and told me that I was not moving as fast as I was before and that needed to change. I also literally got physically sick in a trash can in the back one day and they did not even want to let me take it outside. They wanted me to leave it where it was sitting. I got fussed at repeatedly for not being rude and cutting off a customer talking like they wanted me to if a customer was chatty. On the 24th I called in sick and was told it was fine as long as I had a doctors note. Then I was called in 2 hours early on the 26th. I got there and was told the person that I was there for was there so I want needed. I told them I wasn't driving 20 minutes back home. Then I was told 45 min later that I was fired for missing the 24th even though I did provide the doctors note. I called HR and nothing has been done. You could tell by her tone she did not care what I had to say and was already siding with management decision. I also STILL have not received w2's and someone who moved to another state has. They conveniently don't know why I have not received them. I despise this company and everything they are because of my experiences. I watched them drop food on floor and say 5 sec rule and put back up. They want you to come in to work off clock to meet their schedule and will not allow you to be clocked in more that 5 min early no matter what.

    0 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 03, 2016

    I also worked for a franchised Panera Bread. For me the experience was much the same. Food on the floor, blatant disregard for expiration dates. Picking mold off food to "keep food costs down." My GM had been stealing from the company for years before she finally got caught. We've had I think 3 more GMs since. On top of that, I went and became an Overnight Baker for a stint (Increased pay, Full Time, blah blah blah) and since our store didn't have the traffic there was one baker per night, and no day baker. I was told I would have 10 hour shifts, 4 days a week, and breaks in there. What wound up ACTUALLY happening was I was told by the senior baker that 14-16 hour shifts were common, and to expect to be called in on a fifth day. Oh, and we didn't have time to take breaks. He was right.

    Management doesn't like anything not going exactly their way, don't care if you have kids or a family of your own, Will not pay you the amounts you are promised, and will threaten you if you don't ignore company policy and safety procedures for their whims. I left under a year ago and I hope that I am able to get my W2s but I'm not optimistic about it.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jan 06, 2016

    I started working for Panera about a week before Christmas and am absolutely appalled by their treatment of employees and observation of labor laws. It's amazing to me that they haven't been the subjects of a class action law suit yet.
    I have experienced much of what has been mentioned by others, including seeing food used past its expiration date and employees not getting their breaks, which are required by law. During my training shifts as a night baker, I was made to spend half of my unpaid "break" (30 minutes) working on my training book because my trainer said she didn't want to stay after the shift to complete it. I also worked a shift with my boss one night as part of my training and got no break because we were too busy and didn't have time to take a break.
    I was formerly a manager for a Fortune 50 company and am familiar with labor laws in my state. What they are doing is extremely illegal and I will be exploring the best course of action to ensure they are held responsible for their illegal activity.
    Additionally, I was supposed to get paid yesterday. This was my first check from them so I wasn't sure if it would be direct deposited or sent to my home. I'm nchecked my bank account yesterday morning and this morning and no pay has been deposited. I also haven't received a check mailed to my home. Today I checked the employee site Work Day and it says my check was indeed direct deposited but there are still not funds in my account. While this is very frustrating, I am not surprised after all I've seen of this company and I anticipate it will be a battle to get my paycheck issue sorted out.
    Unless you literally have no other option, do not get a job with Panera. It's not worth the hassle.

    0 Votes
  • De
      Apr 11, 2017

    I went to Panera in Liberty Station in Point Loma for the first time today. I spent about $40. My order was "to go." When I got home I was very upset to see that I was not given everything I paid for. I tried several times to call the store but the phone just rang and rang without ever having somebody answer any of the calls I made. I drove all the way back, parked and had to walk a ways to get to the store. I went in and told the cashier that I was missing items I paid for. Then I had to wait for the manager. I had to again explain the incompentance of the people who said my order was complete. I had my original receipt. I handed it to the manager to show the items that I did not receive.

    By this time some of the items that I paid for were not available anymore because even though I paid for them, they must have sold them to somebody else. I asked for my money back for the items I paid for and were not given. The manager's attitude was unprofessional as was the cashier's. When I finally walked all the way back to my car, I noticed I was only refunded for some of the items I did not receive. At this point, I was so upset and tired, especially with the drive back home still upon me, I didn't bother walking all the way back. I didn't want to deal with unprofessional staff.

    I have been a secret shopper for over 20 years. I am aware of what is important for a business to have in order for a customer to have the experience the owners intend them to. I thought you would be interested to know how poorly your store is being run and how the customers are being treated. I don't know if the cashier is trying to pocket money for the items they don't give or not. All I know is I was treated horribly and despite all my time and effort I put forth to get the items I purchase, I still didn't get my due refund and feel wronged by the company.

    The only good staff member I had a positive experience with was a slender girl with darker skin. She was wearing no eye make-up but she was wearing black, thick black eyeliner. They were out of one of the ingredients of my salad and she came over with a smile and offered some helpful suggestions to subistute for the missing ingredient and had excellent customer service. When I had come back, I noticed she was hard at work, sweeping the floor, instead of standing around like the cashier was.

    0 Votes

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