Panera Breadterrible experience

Review updated:

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.

  • Updated by Ana Gpnzalez · 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.

  • Updated by Carrie h5 · 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.

  • Updated by Deb1968 · 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


  • St
    Stephanie Santos Jun 19, 2008

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Mm
    mmhh Jun 20, 2008

    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?

    3 Votes
  • Li
    Linda Smith Jul 19, 2017

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

    0 Votes
  • Er
    Erica Ash Jul 14, 2008

    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.

    2 Votes
  • Ch
    Chasann1974 Apr 25, 2018

    @Erica Ash Oh isnt that great for you loser

    0 Votes
  • Do
    Donnabe Jul 27, 2008

    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.

    -1 Votes
  • Hi
    Hilary Sep 18, 2008

    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.

    -1 Votes
  • Bo
    Bob Oct 20, 2008

    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.

    3 Votes
  • Ch
    Chasann1974 Apr 25, 2018

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

    0 Votes
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    Tricia Oct 28, 2008

    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.

    -1 Votes
  • Ha
    Hannah Nov 19, 2008

    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.

    1 Votes
  • Ri
    ridincitiesforever Jan 06, 2009

    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, .

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    panerahater Feb 04, 2009

    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.

    1 Votes
  • An
    angry at panera Feb 12, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • An
    anon Mar 01, 2009

    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.

    1 Votes
  • Fr
    fred diaz Jun 26, 2009

    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

    0 Votes
  • Pi
    Piano Man Aug 03, 2009

    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!

    1 Votes
  • P0
    P'gh2009 Aug 09, 2009

    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 f#$%ing office!


    0 Votes
  • St
    staygold Aug 29, 2009

    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.

    1 Votes
  • Ta
    tattooedterror Sep 28, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Si
    singleton zeemansky Oct 06, 2009

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Th
    theguywhomakesyourfood Oct 11, 2009

    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"

    -1 Votes
  • Re
    Rebeccamassey Feb 03, 2010

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    SALLY123 Mar 16, 2010

    I am actually part of a management team at a Panera in California... I have to say that I used to love going to work! It was great! High fives, "good jobs", blah blah blah... It wasn't until I got into management and began to raise questions about certain issues such as: paying someone under the table-out of the drawer, the infamous meal break waiver form, my pay rate compared to 3 people I trained... that management completley "x'd" me out of everything. I am left out of the loop now. I still work there and I feel like every day is my last day. It's pretty uncomfortable actually. It wasn't until I started going against the General Manager's desicions, mentioning that what she is doing is illegal, that I started feeling like they are trying to phase me out. I work so damn hard too, it's not fair. I was told by the District Manager that it is the GM's cafe and they can run it the way they want. I was threatend that I would be fired if I didn't keep my mouth shut. Wow. So much for a Christian company. They are a bunch of fake ### and you can't trust any of them. Thank goodness I'm not trying to be a Panera-lifer. Just one word of advice to anyone working at a Panera, just do your job and ### everyone else, make sure you are being treated fairly but don't ever question the way management does things, especially the GM, it will just bite you in the ### and make work ### for you. For now, I'm just hanging in there and hoping karma will take it's course. I also don't give my normal 200% anymore. If I find myself about to pick up the pace, I just slow down, take it easy... Panera is not going to take advantage of my hard work and loyalty ever again. DON'T SELL YOUR SOUL TO PANERA! Ps. They hire illegals. How? They don't verify SSN #s. Someone call immigration, because if I do, they'll know it was me, and I'll be out of a job unfortunatley :(

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    sambo777 Apr 29, 2010

    Jeeeez... ok ... first off I am 18 and a junior in college as a mechanical engineer. I have worked over 10 jobs and have never been fired from any. Lady... I'm sorry but that's how people talk in the world, your son needs to stand on his on own feet and you need to pop your tits out of his mouth. It's not the parents job to stand and defend them no matter what. It is a parents job to train your child to stand on his own 2 feet and make good decisions. Leaving a post at work is NEVER acceptable, not matter what. I know your type lady, and my best friend ended up in prison because his overprotective mother took is side (aka: "sucked his dick"...oooooooh!!!) ever time he got into trouble for anything. Just keep fighting his battles and see where he ends up. What you should have done was instructed him in the past how to handle situation like that. Stop being over protective. Lastly, if your going to trash an organization based on this incident, that's fine. Your little cries won't even touch their demographic, so go ahead. And if you think for a second that other businesses have higher moral standards then you're just fooling yourself. Open your eyes.

    -2 Votes
  • i work at panera bread now in la mirada and everything is great so far. the managers and shiftleads help me out when i need help or dont know what the customer is asking. all they ask from us is to be nice and respectful to the customers clean as we go and fill orders as fast as we can so the customer doesnt stand there forever waiting. all the managers and employees get along and even hangout outside of work together. it really is like a family team at this location and thats why i love it there. i work closing shift and closing isnt bad if you make sure you keep whereever you work clean always. even just breaking down the pastries and barista counter early helps make closing a snap and your only there probally 20-35 mins cleaning everything else. we have regular customers that we know by name and they know us by name and are just so awsome. i really like panera bread and getting paid 9 $ an hour is a damn good pay for a first job. they pay more than most food places, i know innout starts at 10 but most people i know who work at an innout dont get enough hours because they over hire. overall i love panera and most of these stories just seem like indivual incidents and its sad that they werent resolved but i loveee panera.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    tim finnegan Dec 23, 2010

    hey, to all those talking about 7.50+ hourly pay, feel lucky, i worked for 1 year at 7.25 before i got a pay raise. that being said there were several new hires that started at 8.00+ because that was the pay at their last jobs. to all those talking about poor conditions, if you can't talk to the regional manager, screw panera talk to the better business bureau, or just call a lawyer and sue these people, sexual harassment charges can bring a lot of money

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tomtim1234 Jan 05, 2011

    I worked at Panera for the home office. The things that go on there are crazy. I was in a high level of management. On election day I was told not to let the employees vote because they were illegal anyway. Then the manager would use that to blackmail the employees. The manager that writes the schedule was having sex with the employees for better hours and got caught in the act. I have seen and herd open discrimination and straight violation of employment laws. Try to do the right thing, I tuned in they scheduling manager and he got fired. I reported the other manager for openly hiring illegals and I got fired and had to sign a agreement silence for severance. Not a good member of the community. DO NOT EAT THERE. ps thats not even the tip of the iceberg ... health violations ...

    2 Votes
  • Fe
    Fed up with Panera bread! Mar 11, 2011

    I have been working at a Panera in Pittsburgh going on a year now and its awful! The Managers are rude and inconsiderate and they treat their employees like work horses. If u call off because your sick, and you cannot find anyone to cover your shift, your options are come in and work or get fired. Its absolutely disgusting how many sick employees are handling food any time i come in for a shift. People who work dining room get the work load of at least three people and are constantly getting yelled at by their managers to do 10 things at once because they cant keep up, but do the managers ever come help you? NEVER!! They sit in the office, take smoke breaks, and yell at people who are struggling to do the work of 3 employees. Ive never had a sexual harassment issue there, but my manager has only hired, white, teenage girls in the past 2 months and i know for a FACT that is not even half of the people who have been applying (oh, and by the way, were constanly hiring because another employee quits everyday, so theyre in a never ending search to fill positions). Any time one of my friends ask me if they should apply i ALWAYS say no, no job is better than a job at Panera! Ive also watched my manager violate various health code regulations just to save money (ex: dropping lunch meat on the floor, weighing it, and if its over a pound he picks it up and pretends it never happened) The lack of respect employees are given is infuriating, my GM always speaks to us like we have down syndrom and/or are trying to lie to him like he is suspicious of us. I understand its not supposed to some fantastic career and that its a minimum wage job in food service, but i do feel like the working conditions are MUCH worse than the conditions of the average crappy job.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    DoW32 Jun 01, 2011

    I've worked for Panera for 4 years now. These comments make me crack up. I can tell by the poor spelling that disgruntled 16 year olds who have to wipe down tables are pissed because they make 7.50/hr have written 95% of the comments on this thread. Guess what? Everyone starts at the bottom! Work your way up! I started at 6.45/hr, and am now making close to 10. Not too great, but I haven't graduated from college yet.

    Every work place has their unpleasant people. I will say that I have some some jerks come in my store. I've also seen lazy managers. But mostly, I've worked with great friends and great managers. It's the customers that drive you nuts a bit. They have right to get their order correct, but let's not curse not and belittle someone because we put the wrong dressing in your bag.

    From my experience, high school kids and college kids who have a sense of entitlement and thumb their noses at hard work are the real cancers in a cafe. While I'm not going to be at Panera forever, I love my job and my co-workers. To you babys crying about hard work, SHUT UP! American's were the hardest working people since WWII, what happened?

    Back to the subject at hand. Very sorry to hear about your son. I truly encourage you to contact corporate to get this situation handled (and trust me, they will). We try and put a culture in place so we get the best people in the company, but a few creeps and jerks slip through the cracks.


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  • Mi
    Mistreated18yearold Jul 21, 2011

    I worked at Panera Bread located in Canada for 3 to 4 months before I quit.
    I was so excited when I got the job! I looked up everything in advance, and knew all their products and everything.
    I applied for full-time hours. I listed my availability as daytime, weekdays 6am-5pm.
    At first, they gave me a few shifts a week inside of my availability. I don't understand why I was given hours outside of my availability in the first place.
    Then things went HORRIBLY wrong.
    ALL hours given to me were OUTSIDE of my availability. Not one shift was within that time frame.
    Tips are NOT ALLOWED! SEVERAL customers complained to me that they could not tip me. It was awful.
    I would be scheduled to close from 5 to 10 at night. I would be kept there past 10 if a manager was not happy with my "closing" which included EVERYTHING from cleaning washrooms, to sweeping and mopping floors. To packaging things. It's funny, because I was hired for CASH. CASH! I was kept there on average at least a half hour PAST when I was scheduled to get off.
    It took over my life. I could never see my friends, and never plan either as the hours were INSANE. I would be scheduled for a closing shift on a Friday night (outside of my availability might I add) until 11:30 at night (supposed to be 11) and then would be expected to be at work the next morning for 6am (4:30 awakening). I would sleep for a total of maybe 3 hours. Isn't this illegal? And why hasn't anyone stepped in to prevent this from going on within CANADA. This is nuts! One of the appointed managers came over from a different country, and did not speak English well AT ALL. I am born in Canada, and it KILLED me to work under someone like that, who came here to MY COUNTRY and then has the nerve to tell me rudely that I should "SLAVE MORE!" and "CLEAN MORE!" and "WORK HARDER!" and "WORK FASTER!" for $10.25 an hour (minimum wage). (Might I add if you are under 18, you get paid around $9. RIDICULOUS!) I don't care where he comes from, this is not that place. Someone like him should NOT be in charge of ANYTHING.
    If you were scheduled for 10 hours on a single day, you would have to clock in and out (this is their way of avoiding paying you overtime). No overtime pay.
    No scheduled breaks. No set schedule. I would find out my schedule the DAY BEFORE I was supposed to work. I would break WHENEVER MY MANAGER wanted me to. An hour in to my shift? You've got to be kidding me! Clearly, I, your EMPLOYEE, am not NEARLY at the top of ANY list of PRIORITIES.
    My managers had NO sympathy, and would not care if I would miss my bus. Which was the last bus, by the way.
    I felt nauseous at work the day before I quit, and the General Manager would not let me go home. That was the last straw. (For the record, it was not busy. That should not even play a factor, we are talking about human rights. Dignity. I felt like I was worthless.) Everytime I scheduled a day off work for other priorities, I would feel this massive guilt. I was a good employee. I always did everything I was asked. Picked toothpicks from dirty plates, swept carpet flooring. Carried heavy coffee cartons (WITH a bad back already, might I add). I scheduled a day off in advance, and they put me on the schedule the day before to work the next day, which was the day I took off. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! I was speaking for weeks of how important that day was for me. I was playing a benefit show with my band for Sick Kids hospital. Anyways, after a hard time with an appointed shift manager, I asked for a list of numbers for fellow employees that could cover for me. She gave me one number. They were shortly staffed at the time (as about 6 people quit in 2 days) but that is NOT my fault. She then proceeded in telling me when I called back after being let down by that employee, that I would get a write up if I chose not to show up at work. I could not believe what I was hearing.
    I had the decency to show up the next day after I gave my notice, and they still kept me over the time period I was supposed to work. Not to mention it was Canada Day. I wasn't asked if I wanted to work Canada Day, by the way. It was just ASSUMED that I would. Dear Panera, you can not EXPECT that from your employees when you MAKE THEM PAY for FOOD when you make them SLAVE for little to no money WHATSOEVER. 50% off doesn't mean ANYTHING when you cannot order a small salad. Just "regular size". All your food is overpriced, by the way. Basically, our discount is what regular price is everywhere else.
    Get this, in total, for around 3 months full time (random hours including Mon 5-10pm, Tues 11-4pm, Sat + Sun 6am for example. I worked 6 days a week. At one point I worked 9 days in a row. How is that possible?), I got a total pay cheque of less than $3 000. Poverty line?
    As well, there is black mould along the roof in the women's staff bathroom. It is despicable that we are expected to use that. AND clean it! Especially when we're a Cash person. Thank you!
    HORRIBLE experience. NEVER work at Panera! Ever!
    The food may be decent, but it's like ordering food from a sweatshop. Don't do it.
    I have never felt so worthless in my life. The general manager would walk right by me, and say goodbye to the other manager she hired. Newsflash, she hired me too. And that is no way to treat me.
    That job made me so unhappy. I would be gaining weight as I would have no time to exercise. I would come home at 2:30pm when I got off from those horrible 6am Saturday and Sunday shifts and just sleep. Wake up at another random time the next day, and do it all again. Talk about making me want to commit suicide.
    The manager from a different country would watch over us, and tell us what to do. Just stand there. Watching us.
    Employee's would be doing inventory for the managers. That's THEIR job. Yes, I understand that if a manager asks you to do something, you don't really have a choice or you'll be fired (and told you're fired for a totally irrelevant reason- that's how they avoid stuff), but how can a manager expect their employees to do so much for them, when they keep their employees past when they want to work, give them hours that are out of when they were willing to work, etc.
    If Panera treated their employees like human beings, the whole company would run smoother. Employees would not be quitting as frequently, and there would not be as much stress on everyone working within that environment.
    1) There should be regular hours. Not weekly schedules. "Rando" weekly scheduled. Not "day before" scheduling.
    2) Employees should be entitled to free meals as they work. This would avoid employees being unhappy, and feeling extreme guilt (which you should care about!) when buying a meal for $5, when it takes them just over a half hour to make that much money.
    3) Just because labour laws say you can pay your employees $10.25 (on the condition that they're 18) doesn't mean you should. That job should be AT LEAST $14 an hour. Think about the reputation you are getting, and think of how you're putting ALL your employees under countless amounts of stress. Sorry, but $3 000 in 3 months- you would not be happy with that salary as well. Especially when you're fighting tooth and nail with yourself when your job gives you ZERO dignity. You are everyone's ###! To put it lightly.
    4) If a customer wants to tip, LET THEM TIP!!! It's not hurting you. By allowing no tips, you are FRUSTRATING your employees who work for you for little-to-no money. I understand, you want money to go towards charity, but your dear employees need some support as well. Otherwise, they would not be working for you, my dear. Your reputation is going down the drain due to your own doings, this picking and choosing thing is ###.
    Thanks, take care!

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  • Ti
    tiffany sorensen Sep 11, 2011

    wow, i'm so disheartened reading all of these negative comments!! i've worked at a panera on long island for a while now, and i absolutely LOVE my job. the store is run very well. i have great relationships with all of the managers there. no, the pay is not what i dream of, but it's a chain restaurant. what do you expect?! still, it pays better than mcdonald's or the like. i must say that most of these complaints are in reference to very isolated and unusual incidents that do not accurately reflect the quality or founding principles of panera bread as a company. many of you had the option of bringing your complaint to a higher authority. not every person in a position of power deserves to be there! that's why there's human resources. i've had bad experiences at all types of business - clothings stores, gas stations, restaurants - but i don't rush online to bash them via blogs after it happens. the person helping me could have been having a bad day. who knows! people should think a little more before making these blanket statements.

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  • Su
    sup24-7 Sep 14, 2011

    One time in the sixth grade, my friend and I were intimidated by a group of bullies, one of whom lived near a Panera Bread Co. They strong armed me into giving them all of my money($2). In retaliation, we stole condoms from Walgreen's and went to Panera Bread, where we filled them with lemonade and ice cubes from the beverage fountain. We rode our bikes passed the bully's house and hurled our condoms at it. Much to my surprise, my lemonade and ice-filled condom smashed through the bully's living room window!! I can only imagine the expression on his parents' faces as they saw the ice-filled condom, surrounded by shards of broken glass on their living room floor. We rode our bikes away as fast as we could and once home, shared a really good laugh.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    Neirbomob Feb 29, 2012

    I've worked at panera for almost two years I am a trainer. This is the thong my store is in Indiana we are the busiest in our district. I've only seen our district manager six tines in this period which is ridiculous since he's the one telling us what we as a store are doing wrong. We get raises once a year and its split into a raise pool. This last year our raise pool was a little under four dollars. This os then split between 20us to 30I employees, I have to laugh at this because our particular store does anywhere between 40k20us to 70k a month. Yet we get a percentage that's so small of that to split. Panera would be a wonderful company of we werent over worked and under paid its a complete joke. I just wished corporate would take time to recognize who really makes the company work its not then sitting in their cozy little offices or the regional manager that never comes in or the district manager that runs all over the state ir even our general manager that they over load with all this paperwork that they can't get out of the office but the small persons called associates. We deserve better treatment and better pay because with out us u wouldn't have a store what would you do if we went on strike they would lose over a million dollars in one day and that still wouldn't hurt them as a company. I would love this company if I were guaranteed a promotion of some sort every year

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  • An
    Anonadooder Mar 10, 2012

    I'm quite enamored and sadly, relieved, to read most of these responses. Granted, some do come off as petty/trivial. "Oh, you had to WORK?!? My god! The audacity that they'd expect you to exert yourself!"

    I say that, as in my 2 years, I worked damn hard, while dealing with a very debilitating and rare medical condition. (Cluster Headaches...research it. It's rare, as in less than 1% of the world pop is effected by it. It also has another name, being suicide headaches, as a small portion of sufferers have opted to take that means to spare themselves the misery)

    A headache (bah...think migraine x's 10) kicked in, and I worked through it. So yeah...not much sympathy there is my point.

    Anywho... I can fully attest that these stores, and what I perceive, the company in general, is completely mismanaged. Probably more rare to find a good store than a bad one, as far as working at is concerned.

    I'm not gonna bash Ron Shaich...I think he's actually genuine in his dealings and approach. But he's one man sitting in an executive office. Aside from picking menu items and decor...what handling do you think he actually has wth the day to day operations?

    Nope, it's the lesser management that's playing the part of poison here. (Again, surely not ALL...but a great deal of them, undoubtedly)

    As I stated earlier, I worked for them for 2 years. Started at a store before the doors even as such, to me and the dedicated members among me...this was our baby.

    We got fed the Kool-aid, and digested it eagerly. Provide exceptional service, no shortcuts, the whole happy horsesh!t diatribe. Hook, line, and sinker.

    Truth be told, each and every one of us walked in with head's high and brimming proud smiles.

    But as the days progressed, the veneer began to fade, and we saw it for what it was.

    For my part, I was hired for cash, but in the weeks training we had before the store openned, I went from Cash, to Panninis, to Sandwiches, and on the day we opened Salads. It was a sh!t show! For the next 5 months that followed, I was the only member of staff cross-trained. Basically, I never knew what I was gonna be doing when I walked in. Some shifts, I was bounced between 3 different areas. Cash, dish, barista, line...never able to prepare or expect what the day would have me doing. (A year + later it was made known to me if you had 3 or more areas under your belt, you were owed a .35 boost in pay...certainly didn't get it!)

    During this, I was told, practically on a daily basis, "don't worry, buddy. Your hours are set!" This changed immediate when a new scheduling manager took over, and due to personal issues with me (she slept around with another employee, who inturn wound up going shift and later AM...and in talking with other employees I'd voiced my concerns) my hours went from 36-40, down to 20. As a result, I wound up living out of a tent and my car for a stretch. But I still made it to every scheduled shift, bathed and smiling.

    This was enough to get me in good standings with the roaming head day-baker, who offered me a position on their end. To which I jumped at the chance.

    I thought, "finally...I'll be free of the bull!"

    I thought wrong.

    In the first week of my overnight training, the manager of our region not only lied to me about health insurance, but offered me a mere quarter which I called him out on, knowing the day-baker currently at our store (not the one who got me in) was making $2.75 more than that.

    Basically, he just wanted me to go overnight...hence the low-balling.

    I was agreeable to that. (Some might say loyal and dedicated...others, a sucker. Make the call as you see fit)

    I was at least, until I went 5 weeks without seeing my first check, and being handed the excuse, "if it's not there today it will be tomorrow"...for about 3 weeks.

    My phone got shut off, my landlord was up my ###, and I couldn't even afford a .99 bottle of shaving cream to groom my face.

    I'd reached my wit's end, and I quit.

    2 months later, in visiting a friend/co-worker, the same chick who screwed me on hours before was now basically BEGGING me to come back. In my absence, the inmates were running the asylum, so to speak, and management had little to no control.

    So I opted to take up the offer.

    Let's just say, two weeks later, head-day baker came in, and I was soon back to training. (And the guy who was in charge lost half his territory as a result of me quitting...ahh, karma!)

    Couple months go by, I take to the day-baking position well enough that I could do a shift with my eyes closed when the bottom basically dropped out. Our DM comes in, minutes later our GM abruptly leaves, and an hour or so after that, my soon to be nemesis for the remainder of my career make his grand entrance.

    This man was our DM's friend. Hired simply for that fact only. I got to watch these two albatrosses attempt to open our back door unsuccessfully for 5 minutes before I stopped what I was doing, walked over, and with one hand, turned off the alarm, opened the door, shook my head in disgust, and went back to it. Irony is, this was on my birthday. Helluva present...lemmie tell ya!

    The man couldn't manage opening a door...and we'd all soon find out, he was just as equipped at managing a store.

    Within the first week, he was swearing at cashiers, chewing them out infront of customers. He did none of his paperwork, and to this day, handles food with gloveless hands. If you called him on it, he either ignored you, or shrugged it off.

    As far as company standards and procedures went...they didn't apply to him.

    He threatened one employee he was going to fire him. As the most liked person on staff, he came to me about it. (Mind you, this kid had a touch of mental ###ation...but quite capable of performing his duties. Went to college to boot, so he wasn't a dummy by any stretch. And he knew his job and to the letter.) "He threatened to fire me." he said. So I responded, "When did this happen." and the smug ###, without missing a beat walks by and says, "About 30 mins ago!" to which I shot back, "Well that's a helluva way to motivate someone..."

    Later in the day I go out for a smoke while waiting for my last bake to finish, and he followed me.

    "Look...if you tell someone six, seven, eight, nine...if you tell someone enough times, wouldn't you threaten to fire them?" dead eyed.

    "Actually, I'd a stopped the third time and took a different approach. I dunno...maybe SHOW him what you expect?"

    He had no response. To which he basically came to me before leaving for the day and asked me to handle it...not my job or area, but, I liked to make things work, so I took up the task.

    From that point on, I was a marked man. And for the next 6-8 months, this man waited for any opening to get rid of me. Which I refused to give him.

    Over that time, I had to deal with our night baker lumping her duties on me (frosting her cookies, day-dotting her product she couldn't be bothered to, baking vast amounts of breads...which, as a day baker, I'm strictly delegated to pastries only) and no one getting on her (ie; managing) for it.

    I watched this man continue to handle food without gloves, pastries and sandwiches alike...once, mixing lobster and mayo gloveless. He sold a customer an egg that was sitting in a steel pan in our dish sink, as breakfast ended 15 minutes prior, and regularly told managers not to throw out cookies and to package them for sale the next day (baked fresh daily? Not so much) and instead of throwing expired sandwich ingredients out, he ordered the line guys to switch the dates...EVERY NIGHT!

    The man was a disgrace. And I made it clear I felt as such. (Freedom of speech...think I'm entitled to an opini

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  • Va
    ValMN Apr 23, 2012

    As an associate at Panera Bread, I was amazed when I started working there and found out how differently the store is run than I would have assumed from a company that promotes itself as a somewhat classy place (as far as fast food goes) with a nice atmosphere. I do think that there are probably some stores that treat their employees positively, but from my experience they are few and far between. I have worked at many restaurants before and never have I been so stressed out at work, every single day. I do the work of at least 3 people at one time, and it's not just me - every associate at my store is stressed out all the time, pushing themselves as hard as they possibly can. This would all not be so bad if only some of us ever received a little recognition. Most people have been there for years and have never once received a raise. The management's expectations of the amount of work one person can get done are absolutely absurd. I frequently become physically sick and throw up in the back just from the stress of working there. Seriously, if you ask to just go to the bathroom people will become upset with you because of how busy it is there. And I always just keep on working as they rely too much on me to go home if I am sick. People will burn themselves from soup and the managers will not allow us to stop and run it under water as there is no time to. Just yesterday, the store received a complaint that all of the employees working on the line seemed very stressed out and overworked and it made the customer feel as if it was an unpleasant environment, somewhere they didn't want to have their dining experience. Instead of saying hey sorry guys we are clearly overworking you to the ground if it's obvious to the customers that they care enough to comment about it, our general manager used this comment as an excuse to yell at us even further and stress us out even more while we are hurrying to get even more work done. Honestly, Panera Bread is a terrible, terrible company who is concerned solely with making the most money possible and manipulates and overworks their employees as much as they possibly can. They need to suck it up and hire some more employees before every one they has dies of exhaustion.

    0 Votes
  • Se
    sentmental girl May 27, 2012

    Yeah working at panera seems like it sucks for more people...not just me! I've been working for 2 months anc I only work 4 hours a week! I had to quit my beloved chior program at school so I could work, and that makes me mad. The managers at my Panera bread obviously don't get the different learning curve that everyone else has.It is my first job ever as well.I am a cashier, and tend to make a few mistakes (now usually only once every time i go in).They don't know how to run a business.if you can't afford 30 employees to have a decent schedule, then why do you hire everyone els eon this freaking planet? 4 hours a week is barely a tank of gas for my fuel efficient car.FUEL EFFIECIENT ...i'ev been trying to find a better job.

    -1 Votes
  • Cy
    Cynthia Dollar Oct 04, 2012

    It is funny to me how people say they love working at Panera for the 2 to 4 months they had. I did too but...Well hopefully you guys will still love working at Panera.

    Sorry about your son.

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  • Kp
    kpt_2010 Nov 01, 2012

    I work at Panera and, while I really disagree with how thy treat their employees, I know that the portion sizes have not changed. Yes, the packaging has changed, but the same measurement tools are being used.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Joel OC Dec 13, 2012

    It's nice to hear some people that have had similar experiences as me working at this hell-hole of a restaurant. I know that all of these comments are subjective and don't necessarily reflect the attitude of everyone working at Panera, but I've worked at two different places besides Panera and it's the only place that I absolutely DESPISED working at. The most difficult part about Panera was the managers and their feeling of superiority they seemed to have.

    When I was first hired, I was very excited to work there. I had always liked the restaurant and the interviews I had with both managers were very pleasant and they both seemed to like me, but that changed pretty fast. The whole time I was working there (6 months), I don't think there was one time when a manager complimented me on doing a good job. EVERYTHING they said to me was either a demand or a derrogatory statement about how I didn't do something right. I even had a panic attack while working because I was so stressed out with how my managers were treating me. Just THINKING about working was a nightmare to me. Even today when I think about that place it makes me sick to my stomach. The pressure that Panera puts on their employees is ridiculous, whatever you're doing is never right. There was one incident where a manager wrote me up because she saw me checking the time on my phone. Not to mention, I was in the back of the store and there were absolutely no customers, and this was the first time she had EVER seen me on my phone. These type of instances happened all the time where one of the managers would get upset at me for no reason at all. The managers were constantly talking about people behind their backs and there were at least three instances where I overheard them talking about me. The employees that I worked with were fairly nice for the most part, no major complaints there... and the customers were like any other place, but the managers were just pure ###. There were times when I would cry before and after going into work, and I am not an emotional person at all... I just felt like I was the ### of the earth when I was in that place.

    I was extremely relieved when I finally did quit. I called the manager and told her and she just laughed a little bit and said "ok guess there's nothin I can do about that". f*** that place.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Jodymcg3 Dec 08, 2013

    My 18 year old daughter has worked for this Panera Bread for almost 2 years. She is a hard worker and has worked her way up to being a trainer (which is a big deal there). The management team is THE WORST I have ever experienced in my long running years in business. They yell at their employees in front of customers, they are condescending and rude and downright horrible. Although they are lenient with work schedules, (as long as you give them lots of notice), my daughter badly sprained her ankle and was scared to death to call to tell them she wouldn't be able to work for the next 2 weeks. They were extremely rude, made her feel guilty and horrible remarking "Well you know, the dinner rush will be horrible tonight. Great. " That was bad enough but today took the cake. We are currently in the middle of a 3-6 inch snow storm to be followed by freezing rain. There have been numerous accidents with closed highways, etc. When she called in to "call off" because there is no way we should be risking our lives if they are planning on sending the kids home early anyway, she was told that if she didn't show up - she would lose her job. Really? You want a bunch of teenagers on the road in this weather? Do they really feel we should all risk our lives for a minimum wage job? I am so disappointed and would love something to be done. There are many other petty complaints but this to me is clearly a show of how much they do NOT care about their employees - or their families.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Rockandroll Dec 09, 2013

    You are a horrible mother. What kind of of an example are you setting for your demon spawn. A little snow and poor precious can't work? She is supposed to be an adult. If the job is important to her, she will find a way to get there. If not, she should be terminated..
    I'm sure she'll end up like you. Knocked up at 18, collecting welfare and food stamps, living on the honest, hard working taxpayer, who have a work ethic. Shame you people like you, you deadbeats are killing the great country.

    God for it when you have to face a real crisis. You are doomed.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    JoeKay Dec 09, 2013

    In case you haven't noticed there are pah-lenty of full grown adults hankering for that job she HAD. No jobs for many, but they got bills to pay. She'll be readily replaced by some job-hungry adult who will likely bust their you know what to make it to work, no matter what. It ain't 1990 anymore.

    0 Votes

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