Over the past couple of years, Panera has been aggressively fighting its way up the ladder with a series of investments in technology and menu offerings. In April 2014, the fast-casual company unveiled Panera 2.0, which the company called, “an investment in the customer enabled by technology and powered by operational excellence.” Among the slew of new tech initiatives include advanced to-go ordering on a computer or mobile device, the ability to order from inside the store on a mobile device for dine in, fast-lane kiosks for dine-in and to-go orders, and customized ordering at in-store kiosks or through the web or mobile app. These rollouts allow for a smoother in-store traffic flow for dine-in and carryout customers as well as increased convenience and speedier service for on-the-go customers.
In addition to Panera 2.0, the company recently announced that it would roll out delivery to 10% of its stores in 2016. Panera plans to use in-house delivery drivers instead of a third-party delivery service to ensure consistent quality and a faster delivery time. Delivery options will be available for both small single-person orders and large catering orders.