1. What do you describe as Panera’s purpose, mission, and strategy?
To satisfy customers with fresh baked breads, gourmet soups, and efficient service. Their strategy is to watch and carefully time market trends and orient the company toward innovating to fulfill consumers.
2. How well has Ron Shaich utilized the open systems model of organizations in moving Panera Bread Company forward in its competitive environment?
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I believe he has done a good job with this, he has shown how it’s not just about selling a product, it requires a lot more than just that. It is a combination of people with great communication skills, technology such as the Wi-Fi availability, the quality of its products, and the atmosphere which in this case was created by the fireplace, couches, newspapers, etc. This makes people feel comfortable, which leads to loyalty towards the company.
3. What are the challenges to the management process posed by Panera’s fast-paced growth? What problems do you see Shaich having to resolve to continue his record of success with the firm?
Panera Bread has an aggressive growth strategy that requires the organization to open many stores around the country. However some of the challenges and problems with this is that being a franchise owner has a lot of requirements that are not that easy to meet. It requires considerable financial investment and business experience. In addition, the owner is not allowed to open in only one location, the owner is required to open 15 or more bakery-cafes in a six year period and within a defined geographical area.
4. Visit a Panera store near you, or a competitor. Based on your customer experience, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this business going forward?
I visited the Panera store in Rancho Cucamonga and it had great customer service, everyone was really nice and friendly. I got a free pastry sample and I was more than happy, not only because I got it for free but because it was delicious. I find a lot of resemblance between the Panera store and a Starbucks. I believe that in order for this business to move forward it needs to provide customers with something unique other competitive companies don’t have.
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