Panera Bread Logo.Panera Bread is one of the largest restaurant brands in its sector. Operating three brands, Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Café, over 1,362 locations are owned or franchised by Panera Bread. Although now one of the most recognizable restaurants in the country, the beginnings of Panera Bread were very different.

Beginning as Au Bon Pain Co., Panera operated stores in the eastern United States and overseas. The company expanded through acquisitions and later refocused itself under its current name. The profitability of Panera has been illustrated time and again through its high marks for overall returns received by investors. The viability of Panera, however, would not be possible without outstanding products and services being offered to its customers. This mission of bringing artisan bread in a fresh, warm environment as part of a great menu has been fulfilled by the thousands of employees that make Panera a success on a daily basis.

As recently as 2009, Panera Bread has been distinguished for its outstanding performance. In just one year it has been named one of “America’s Hottest Brands” by Advertising Age, been awarded Platinum in the sandwich category by Consumers’ Choice, and has been acknowledged as one of the healthiest places to eat by Health Magazine. Zagat has recognized Panera Bread as the most popular chain with less than 5,000 locations.

The signature items of Panera have become its salads, whole grain foods, and half sized menu options, making it a top dining spot for fitness and health conscious consumers while on the go. Whether it’s their side options of apples or baked chips, or its use of hormone and anti-biotic free chicken, or its many other healthy menu options, Panera Bread has demonstrated its commitment to their customers’ health. They even have been noted for providing healthy children’s items on its menu.

Panera Bread has made a demonstrable effort to give back to the communities where they do business, touching the lives of millions of people every year. Through the Community Breadbox program, Panera Bread matches donations made by its customers to non-profit entities that help feed the needy. The Day-End Dough Nation program sponsored by Panera Bread packages unsold bakery items at the end of the business day and donates them to local food banks for distribution to the hungry. As part of SCRIP fundraising, non-profit organizations can raise funds by reselling Panera gift cards.

Printable coupons are sometimes available to members of its online newsletter mailing list. You can also find Panera Bread coupons that offer discounts on meals and entrees in Sunday newspapers across the nation.