Sometimes a change in scenery is all a person really needs. For me, things somehow click a different way when I break my normal routine and end up somewhere new. This happened a little while ago when I decided to venture out of my usual study spots and take my laptop (and money) to Panera Bread. While there, not only did I brush up on my new-found knowledge about setting marketing goals and achieving them through social media, I noticed how Panera is achieving their goals through the use of data and connectivity throughout the restaurant.
While searching through the Panera Bread website I found their mission/vision statement: “We are Panera Bread. And we believe that good food, food you can feel good about, can bring out the best in all of us. Food served in a warm, welcoming environment, by people who care. To us, that’s good eating and that’s why we’re here.” The Panera in Athens is doing a great job of upholding this mission statement and achieving it through different technology platforms.
One of the first things you notice when walking in is the set of kiosks that are stationed on the left-hand side of the registers. This acts as a faster way for customers to order when they already know what they may want and not have time to wait in line. It could also serve as a way for the restaurant to collect data: how often a certain meal is ordered, what time of the day is the busiest, what meals are more popular than others, etc. This platform is beneficial to customers and the company itself, it allows for there to be a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Ordering Made Easy
One of the digital features that I dealt with personally was the technology used for delivering orders to customers dining in. After ordering my food I was giving the typical “buzzer” that is used to alert you when food is ready; however, this one was a little different. When it was placed on the table of my choosing it let the employees know exactly where I was sitting, my food was brought to me hot and ready all through data and connectivity between the buzzer, table, and the restaurant’s computer system.
Panera makes ordering easy for anyone who has access to the internet or their app. You can go online and order to pick up in store, have it delivered, or order right from your table. The use of technology to make ordering easier adds to the convenience and great customer experience that Panera Bread is known for.
While sitting down, I noticed a banner by the register advertising for customers to download the Panera Bread app. The app allows for customers to have quick access to their many online features without having to visit the website. Like the in-store kiosk, the app can also serve as a data collection bank. This a perfect way to connect loyal customers and Panera through a digital platform and data connection.
The restaurant’s use of data works hand-in-hand with the goals that they have had set in place for years. They knew how to use technology to their advantage and are doing a great job at making sure it does not over power who they are as an establishment. The connectivity throughout the Athens Panera Bread is a great example of how everyday objects, such as tables, can be connected to the internet and make tasks for companies and consumers a lot easier.