Panera Bread Lunch – Now Order Kiosk is Available!

It’s been quite a while since we visited Panera Bread last time. We didn’t bring lunch today (due to my laziness), and we decided to visit today, partially due to the Bank of America 10% cashback deal given to me. Glad to have Tad to join us as well.

Panera finally deployed the self service kiosks. I think it makes a lot of sense since every time I visit there, the line is long, and there are probably only one or two counters opened. I think the line is long also partially due to the complicated menu offers. People tend to stare at the menu (with small fonts and complicated sides and customizations) for a long time to make decision.

While I think the kiosks can be a rescue, people still like to line up to place the food order. There are like 10 kiosks there, and no one is using any of them! Initially I thought they are not in service, then I approached and used one of them, found out that they are pretty easy to use. Plus, the customization are graphically represented. So, why is no one using them? I think one major problem is people are lazy to search. When using the kiosk, some part of your brain needs to work hard to search for the right button to tap (it is a touchscreen). People like to ask a real human and get responses.

I think the trend will change, especially the younger generations like to interact with the screen more than to the counter personnel. It is just that there are more older fashion people in the Sherman area, which left the kiosk less useful.

Ordered 2 Thai Chicken flatbread today with a bag of chips, looks like a pretty new item in the menu. I can’t really say that it is very delicious. It is chicken, definitely, but it doesn’t taste Thai to me. While Panera is saying that their food is “more real”, I think they are still pretty pricey. Still, they are still the favorite place for the healthy minded customers, especially the older folks.