Panera updated its curbside service to include an opt-in geofence service that extends Wi-Fi into the parking lot and alerts staff when a guest pulls up to pickup their order, allowing for a frictionless curbside delivery experience.

“In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are,” says Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary.

When ordering from the restaurant’s app or website, a customer selects curbside pickup and adds their car’s make, model and color to the “Special Instructions” field. Once a customer arrives in the parking lot, assuming they have opted in to the geofencing, a Panera employee will bring the order out to the car without any further action necessary. Those who don't opt-in to the service just need to tap “I'm here” in the MyPanera app or order confirmation email upon arrival.

Panera has also implemented additional safety precautions in order to open up select restaurants with a to-go only model, including:

  • Enhanced cleaning and handwashing procedures in all bakery-cafes
  • Ongoing plexiglass barrier installations in Panera cafes and drive-thrus
  • Masks distributed to and worn by all associates
  • Hand sanitizer available in all cafes at each entryway
  • Social distancing measures clearly articulated in each cafe with signage and floor decals
  • Thermometers at all cafes to enable thorough pre-shift wellness checks on employees
  • Social distance enabled between ordering kiosks and the addition of anti-microbial screens
  • Contactless curbside pickup and delivery options for customers