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Panera Bread / terrible experience

1 23061 Allen RoadWoodhaven, MI, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 734-675-3500

A couple of month's ago my teen-age son was hired by Panera Bread. He was very excited and told me often how much he enjoyed the job. I read their handbook and they claimed they were a good place to work because of the respect they showed for their employees. Soon enough we found out that they have no respect for their employees.

Female employees were referred to as 'the ###' by one of the managers. Then, things got worse. My son was working in the sandwich line in front of customers. It was a hot day, and he asked the female worker next to him what was wrong with the manager. She told him (my son) that she didn't know what was wrong with him(the manager). She then told my son that the manager was probably upset because she had told the manager that he should suck my son's dick! This female employee thought that making that statement to the manager was funny. My son left the store stunned and later called one of the other managers to explain why he had left work.

Now, logically, you would think that the female employee would get in trouble for making such a remark at work and that the manager she said it to would have done something about the trash mouth female employee. No way! This same manager was the one that referred to the female employees as '###' and he did nothing about it. My son registered a complaint with management and Panera started their 'trash the victim' nonsense.

My son was immediately suspended from work (that's what happens when you file a complaint at Panera's) and he was told there would be an investigation. The manager who was supposed to run the investigation then took three sick days off. To make a long sickening, story short they ended up firing my son after a week and a half of asking for written and signed reports from him.

Instead of cleaning up their house, they decided to pick on a teen-age boy. Wow! I think they deserve a place in the corporate Hall of Shame. I have told all of my friends, relatives and acquaintances the story (there are many) and I personally will trash them every chance I get.

  • Ana Gpnzalez's Response, Aug 19, 2017

    Posted: Aug 19, 2017 by Ana Gpnzalez
    My service tonight at Panera in Sparta NJ
    Complaint Rating: 0 % with 0 votes
    I went to Panera in Sparta NJ at 930pm and ordered a 1/2 of fuji apple salad to go. When I got home I discovered that the salad was missing the pecans and the apples. I am a customer at Panera. My name is Ana Gonzalez and my phone #973-722-5001. I couldn't go back to complain about the salad, was to late.

  • Carrie h5's Response, Sep 08, 2017

    Just want my points . Check #1329 dated 9/4/17 time 3:31 pm cashier Isis order # 112. Didnt have my card, cashier tried my phone # said she didnt find anything wouldnt look up name. Been a customer for years, felt like she didnt care.

  • Deb1968's Response, May 21, 2018

    Ordered chickensoup from pick 2
    Got home was smsll as a childs portion
    All the money i spent was not worth this what so ever
    Very upset

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  • St
      19th of Jun, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I have worked at Panera for a year and four months and trust me, they treat us like complete ###. I do the work of 6 people for 8.00 an hour...are you kidding me? My managers do nothing, they sit in the office and us ( the trainers) run the cafe. It's quite ridiculous and i feel the company is going to the ground. It's really a shame it was at one time and increadible company to work for, now i leave work in tears after every shift.

  • Mm
      20th of Jun, 2008
    +3 Votes

    Panera bread is one of the worst places to work for. I work at the one in Valrico Florida. I recently found out that our district manager will change the clock in times of some of our employees and not pay them for hours that they have worked. A few weeks ago we had a meeting (which we were told was payed) they told everyone not to clock in because they would clock all of us in. No one ended up getting payed for our time being there.

    Is this legal?

  • Li
      19th of Jul, 2017
    0 Votes

    @mmhh In a word---No. You need to contact Wage and Hour for your state and report them.

  • Er
      14th of Jul, 2008
    +2 Votes

    I have worked for panera for almost 3 years now, in Parkersburg WV and in Baurboursville WV. And although its not my dream career... I feel that the previous complaints were all just case-specific incidents and do not at all reflect the attitude and reputation of panera bread.

    I have never been ill-treated working for them. In fact, out of the 5 or so jobs I've had thus-far in my life, paneras been the best experience that Ive had with managers, work load, and pay.

  • Ch
      25th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Erica Ash Oh isnt that great for you loser

  • Do
      27th of Jul, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I have worked at panera for 3.5 years, 2 as an associate and 1.5 as a shift manager. These complaints are specific incidents that should have been taken to even higher management. Not all panera's are sun like this. Sure panera is a lot of work, same with any restaurant. Stephanie and Mmhh... you should ask to transfer to a different panera.

  • Hi
      18th of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Panera Bread is a worthless place. Today I went to lunch at the Panera Bread on Kennedy Ave. located in downtown Tampa, FL. As it is a Thursday and lunchtime, it can be busy. I was also on a very tight time frame as I was on my lunch break.

    My pager went off to notify me that my food was ready. When I went to get it, it was sitting next to a trash can. They signaled to me to grab it. I asked why it was next to the trash can and they couldn't answer. Then, someone else grabbed my food and left. They just stood there. I asked them if they were going to make me another. They stood there. They seemed confused and I stated I was on a time crunch. They finally and reluctantly prepared another lunch for me. Bear in mind the manager was in earshot the entire time, but didn't assist. He didn't even look up as he stood next to the worker who finally made my food. Shouldn't managers manage when a problem arises? Upon receiving my food, the worker apologized and I thanked him and said it wasn't his fault. I felt the manager and a female worker mishandled the situation.

    Then, in front of about 10 patrons and his staff, the manager leaned over to the worker and said that he shouldn't apologize to me because it wasn't his fault that someone else grabbed my food. This is the message that this manager is sending to his staff. He is also telling his patrons that they don't deserve decent service for the overpriced food they are paying for. I wanted to tell the guy that is just the attitude that will cause him to be a manager at Panera for the rest of his pathetic life. Where has decent customer service gone? I would love to submit a formal complaint, but this thread is all I could find.

  • Bo
      20th of Oct, 2008
    +3 Votes

    I also feel that these are individual experiences. I work at Panera as an associate. The relationship between my coworkers and between management and associates at my location is generally a positive one, and rarely negative. At least at my location, the Panera philosophy of "no jerks" seems to be observed. The younger employees especially are treated with kid gloves, given free reign to take days off for school responsibilities and the like, and never involved in anything conventionally considered inappropriate (conversations about sex, drug use, etc.). Full time employees are worked hard, but Panera also pays a bit better than other fast food chains. You want agony? Work at a Subway.
    Panera is hardly a dream job (there is almost no opportunity for advancement or raises), but I've worked in many restaurants and I can appreciate the emphasis on customer satisfaction, even before profit, that Panera promotes. If we make any kind of mistake with a customer's order, they keep the food they've received, and get the correctly made order as well, with our apologies. At my location, I could never picture a customer (or a younger employee) leaving feeling so disrespected as in the cases described above.

  • Ch
      25th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Bob Thats great for your place but this is real world stuff.

  • Tr
      28th of Oct, 2008
    -1 Votes

    There will be problems where ever you work. The mother really should have taken the problem to the district manage or above. If I were her I still would. I promise if you go to the district or area manager they'd take care of it. You can always go to those message go straight to the district managers not the cafe. Someone hire up really needs to know about this. Maybe a new GM is needed if they can't control their managers. I'm so sorry for the young man. Anytime I have went above the general manage things have been taken care of immediately. Everyone should keep this in mind. I've been with Panera for 6+ years and they have been amazing. Sometimes you just have to go to hire management to get things done. Now, I know that every franchises can be different. But, Cooperate owned really do care about their customers and employees. They just need to know what goes on inside the cafes. They're are very good about trying to solve the problem. For the other comments that had nothing to do with the mother and her son, There will always be the people who complain about everything and anything no matter where they work. And come on if you don't like working in the restaurant business that go work at a clothing store or better yet go get a degree.

  • Ha
      19th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I work at Panera. You cant generalize all Panera's because of one bad experience with two crappy employees. First of all, even though that was said and was wrong to say. Your son is at least 16 years old, he has to be to work there, and needs to grow up. He should have said something to the general manager instead of just leaving his position. Walking out on your position gives any employer the grounds to fire you on the spot. And if he really cared enough about the issue he would've filled out the paperwork. You just seem like an angry overprotective mother sheltering her baby.

  • Ri
      6th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I used to work at Panera as a baker in the Southern California area. Not everyone there is bad, like fellow bakers and associates. But, who are the punks are some of the managers. They don't know how to manage a place properly or let people who suck up to their dicks and ### get away with a lot of things. I remember once my co worker left early and came back later while we were busy and got away with it. I wish Panera had better management skills at times, .

  • Pa
      4th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I work at a Panera in a suburb of Chicago Illinois and it does SUCK. The crap they do is ridiculous. The management does have its favorites, but i believe they do everywhere.
    The worst thing they do there is put food back which has been out of the building on another companies site for delivery or a luncheon. The food comes back -because they need to count it-It should be immediately thrown away, but they "strip it" take the meat, veggies, off of sandwiches that were made 5 hours ago and put it back on the line. The soup goes back into the holding area. Talk about sick! Food Poisoning!! It is just disgusting and is illegal, but its all about money and they wont give that up.

  • An
      12th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I used to work in a Pittsburgh, PA Panera. My manager tried to get me to sleep with him in order for me to be promoted. When I refused, he forced himself on me and sexually abused me. When I reported it to the corporate office, they didn't do anything. I ended up walking out and didnt have a job.

  • An
      1st of Mar, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I work at panera in tennessee and they are awful!!!
    managers, employees, customers, pay, all awful!
    i cry everday after i come home they are so terrible to us. I do the work of 3 ppl on the weekends in dining room, and am always getting in trouble because i cant do everything for everyone at once.
    but when i dont work that specific shift, they make sure to have the three ppl there to do it all.
    My managers are racist, no doubt when your in tennessee.
    Ill give my business to corner bakery or atlanta bread company over panera for the rest of my life.

  • Fr
      26th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    i worked for panera, THTB as a general manager and let me tell you something, i hated it!!!, not because of the work, but the people running it, i had a dristict manager a greek man who he felt he was lord allmighty, and made not only my life misable but also my assoc, i could never go to HR because he was part part of the old boy network, after i collpses from overwork and was hostialize, i just walked out and left the place, it was not worth the $53, 000 a yr i get paid to get abuse and hassase this was in the bronx, ny

  • Pi
      3rd of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Wow. Heated debate here. This woman's story regarding her son is horrible. And the CEO of Panera, Ronald Shaich, should be ashamed and make amends. As for comment by "Tricia", not everyone is able to get a college degree due to a variety of circumstances, so that was a harsh, rude statement. No one in the USA in the 21st century deserves to be treated this poorly by their employer and to "Hannah", obviously you do not have children. It is a parent's right AND responsibility to defend their kid until they are old enough and able to do so themselves. I am never going to set foot into this hell-hole of a chain and this is not based only on the blogs contained herewith, but based on my awful experience of this evening in North Olmsted, Ohio. The employees were obnoxious.
    Considering what was said about the working conditions, this now makes sense (but does not excuse it). The lesson here is, work where you are appreciated and eat healthy food at home!

  • P0
      9th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    PianoMan: THANK YOU! You summed it all up! I have worked in several restaurants since I was 16. Pizza Hut, McDonalds, a small mom and pop restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory, and Panera Bread. Out of all of these, Panera has been the WORST place I have ever worked for. In the 2 years I've worked here, I've never once gotten a raise. The managers are constantly in the office leaving the associates on the line (many times by ourselves), or in the back on their 2134234th smoke break. My favorite is when I've been working for 5 hours and a manager will take their break before me after being there for only 45 minutes. Am I not allowed to sit down and eat my lunch? Are you that hungry you can't wait 30 minutes for me to have my break? It is so true about associates having to do the job of 3 people. $8/hour? Honey, where do you work? Our associates barely make $7.50.

    To pissed off customers: for $7.50/hour and the work load of 3 people, you would have a 'give-a-###' reading of zero too. Check your bag before you leave. I actually appreciate it when a customer checks their bag. Half the time someone is running out with someone else's bag anyway. And PLEASE back up from the counter. Your pager will go off or your name will be called when your order is ready. Stop touching and breathing all over other people's food! (Plus, how would you like to be gawked at while you worked?)

    Bob: Does such a Panera exist? lol

    Tricia: I am in college. I've stayed here because they are flexible with school schedules (one of the only pluses about Panera).

    Managers: You will get respect when you give it to ALL of your employees. Don't stand there with your hands on your hips and bark orders. Get your hands dirty and get it done. Stop playing the blame game when something goes wrong. Take responsibility and correct the situation. Be fair with breaks, including smoke breaks. And for god's sake, quit spending so much time in the [censored]ing office!


  • St
      29th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I worked at a Panera Bread in New Hampshire and I absolutely loved it. The enviroment was fun and easy-going, and the entire staff (myself included) made it a point to make customer connections. Our managers instructed us to keep cool, and make sure that the customer gets exactly what they'd like. Our service standards for ourselves were very high, and I constantly recieved compliments on how great the service was, how quickly the orders came through, and how precise we were. The entire staff treated every customer and co-worker with respect. I had people fifteen years my elder treating me as an equal, which isn't very common, especially in the work field. The managers were always right by my side when someone needed help, or had a question, and even the grumpiest customers walked away with smiles on their faces. I honestly think Panera is a fantastic place to work, and i'm shocked that there are so many negative reviews on here. Perhaps I just got lucky, or everyone else was just extremely unlucky.

  • Ta
      28th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    i agree with all of the awful experiences working at panera bread. i work at the one in lincoln, ca. minimum wadge out in california starts at 8 dollars an hour. so that's what i make. really, the only reason i took the job was because i had been un-employed for 10 months taking care of my mother and after she got better, i couldn't find a job anywhere! california's one of the hardest states to find work in right now. so anyways, panera bread offered me a job (full time) and i took it. i knew i would have to deal with issues in the work place just like any other job. but not like this!

    my GM is always making rude/ sexual comments towards the girls in the cafe. and he will only hire girls because he says pretty girls will bring more money to the cafe. so stupid and sexist!

    but mostly the reason why i'm very upset with my job is because of the way the managers and the GM are and how i've been treated. it's a very long story, but to make it short, i thought personal business that you obviously need to tell a manager about if you have to take time from work off...well, you need to tell them, right? well, i had to do that recently, and one of my managers try to make me feel bad due to this situation (which involves my health by the way). and so before i went there to fill some paperwork out, THAT manager decided to gossip and tell everyone of the employees about what was going on with me. and my roommate had to drive me there and while i was in the office, overheard one of the managers and the employees saying nasty things about me AT THE REGISTERS!!! WITH CUSTOMERS WAITING TO BE HELPED!!! and then i had to go in the next day to pick some stuff up, and employees that weren't there the day before even knew about my personal business!!! now, i would like to know if gossiping about a medical issue like that (this situation) IS ILLEGAL? what are the privacy policies exactly? because if they are not allowed to tell you PERSONAL business to every freaking person who works there, i need to know so i can make a complaint.

    now, my work environment is a very hostel one. my personal business was passed around and got misconstrooded through word of mouth and gossiping and now everyone still talks crap about me, my hours got cut because of it, and i'm being disrespected even more now. now i live paycheck to paycheck while i'm in school, still struggling to find another job because the job market out here sucks, and i cry every time before and after work because of the way i get treated.

    if any one know about this privacy policy thing for panera bread, please let me know asap! thank you

    at first, i felt like maybe not all panera's are bad and i'll just get a transfer to another one. but i've heard from the other locations in california alone, that's it's really bad at those locations too! and then i found this website and reading about the other locations across the country, and...i'm just mind-boggled right now! i'm happy for the few that got lucky enough to have found a good location with good co-workers and managers. and i totally understand and feel bad for the ones who have the sucky priviledge to get to work at the crappy locations.

  • Si
      6th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hey I feel for you guys. To the workers everywhere, if you can tolerate the crap for the time being, then just bear it until a better job comes along. To the customers, send your complaints to the corporate office. Make them work for your lousy service. Make sure that you record the store number which is at the top of every sales receipt; write down the manager's name, cashier's name, etc. The easier way to complaint is to go to www. or call 1-877-467-8436.

  • Th
      11th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    For every angry customer that has ever gotten there order please keep in mind that a high school student getting payed 7.65 and working 35 or more hours a week is making your food, how much do you really thing we who work or have worked at panera care, weather you enjoy your food or even come back again is of the least importance to any of the workers, i know some will say this is the wrong attitude but lets face it no one of the hour payed workers really cares, and the mangers are to lazy, or stupid to do anything to change it. the fact is most panera's are understaffed and the workers are overworked, under payed and usually treated like ### by the mangers, i have worked at panera for 3 1/2 years, 1 as associate, 2 as a trainer, and and a little over half a year as a shift supervisor, i have seen my married general manger hitting on 18, 19 and 20 year old girls and i know that he had a affair going on with one of the older ladies at the store for a few months, paneras general solution to any kind of problem including sexual harassment, discrimination or whatever may be the problem is the fire the associate involved, why? if you are getting payed 7.65 and hour and you are making food its very easy to find a replacement,
    in my training to become a shift supervisor i was shown how to push employers to cover any slack we might be having from being understaffed, and to yell at them if need be, since most of the people working at my panera are my friends there was no way in hell i was gonna do that and i did get yelled and sworn at by mangers plenty.

    i now have a better job, thank god, and i don't go back to panera unless i want to get free bagels at the end of the night,
    as a final note to all former or current workers of panera, move on get another job the abuse you take at panera is not worth the little pay you do get,
    to all the customers out there who get mad or upset, and yell or show and attitude towards the workers at panera that is not going to hell speed up the time in which you will get your food it is only going to push a under payed worker with little to lose( $7.65 an hour) to do something bad to your food, in 3 1/2 years at panera both as an associate and as an shift supervisor i have done some very unsanitary things to a customers food, who forgot to bring in their manners, so for those who think complaining on the internet will help improve your service next time you come, it will not!, its just that more incentive for one of paneras highly aggravated associate to really "### with your food"
    and if you want more pread just ask, " can i get another piece of bread please"

  • Re
      3rd of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I got hired as a Baker on line because apparantly they needed Bakers sooo bad. Well, I was never informed by the hiring manager that I couldn't have a second job and still work there. Also, after they extended my training to twice as long as I was told I would train and with a woman who asked inappropriate questions about my religion, political beliefs, whether or not I did drugs, and my sexuality, I was assigned to a store 30 min away. Then I was informed after my first week that I had gotten too much overtime and I would have to have help to find out why I was getting overtime. The manager that made the schedule made it at the last minute and scheduled me on a day I don't normally work at a different Panara that I had never worked at before, didn't let me know and I didn't show up for the shift. They didn't find out for a week and then asked why I didn't show up for the shift. I tried to explain that its because I didn't know about the shift because the schedule wasn't made. I was told that I couldn't work at another job and that all the bakers had to be available at all times even though when I was hired I was told the shift was 9pm until 4am. and that they weren't even allowed to take classes or have any other committment so they c0uld be available any time. I was informed in a phone call that I no longer had a job.

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