In 2014, after listening to its customers and making the customer experience a top company priority, Panera Bread launched Panera 2.0−a series of integrated technologies to enhance the guest experience for all consumers no matter how they choose to use Panera.

Fast forward two years and CEO Ronald Shaich holds a laser focus on Panera 2.0.

“We are focused on making Panera a better competitive alternative by improving the guest experience in two ways,” Shaich said during the company’s Feb. 10 fourth-quarter earnings call, according to Seeking Alpha. “First, we’re focused on reducing friction through Panera 2.0, and second, we’re focused on increasing desire for Panera through innovation in operations, food, marketing, and store design, consistent with our redefined brand promise. We’re also working to build runways for expanded growth in several large adjacent businesses, including small-order delivery which we call simply delivery, large-order delivery which we call catering, and consumer products, a business we call Panera At Home.”

What’s more, Shaich talked about some tangible results so far from Panera 2.0.

“As you know, Panera 2.0 is about improving the guest experience, reducing friction,” he explained. “Panera 2.0 consists of two sub-elements. First is digital access, including mobile, web and kiosk, which enables a better to-go and eat-in experience. And second is the foundation we call operational integrity, which is about ensuring we have the production capabilities and systems needed to meet the demand that comes with untethered digital ordering, while simultaneously delivering on the high levels of customization and accuracy the Panera customer expects.”

In 2014 and prior, the company converted 106 Panera 2.0 cafés; in 2015, it converted 304 cafés, with 227 of those conversions occurring in the third and fourth quarters. As of year-end 2015, there were 410 Panera 2.0s in service.

“We’re pleased to share with you the news that 2.0 is materially improving comp store sales and this performance has improved since the last time we reported the data at the end of Q2 2015,” Shaich said. “You can see that there are now 98 cafés in the fourth quarter since conversion. These cafés, over 10% of the company cafés, generated comps of 7.6%. Let’s now look at some of the cafés that have been converted for a longer period of time. The 81 cafés that are in the fifth quarter since conversion, step up to 9.7% cumulative two-year comp.”

The 37 cafés in their sixth quarters since conversion have a cumulative comp of 16.1%.

“The reality is that with more cafés maturing and with more cafés in the data set, we are seeing even stronger results,” Shaich said. 

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