- Panera Bread is laying off about 17% of its 1,800 corporate employees, or roughly 306 staff members, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- The job cuts were mainly focused on supporting staff positions and are expected to help streamline the company and improve operations for general managers.
- Panera Brands — which consists of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels — continues to prepare for an IPO. Earlier this year, the company shuffled its C-suite with a new CEO and CFO.
The cuts at Panera are expected to better position the company for the future and help improve the guest experience, Panera said in a statement sent to Restaurant Business. Several other chains have been slimming down their corporate operations this year, including McDonald’s and Chipotle, as part of restructuring efforts.
“To fully enable this simplified model, we have made some difficult decisions to better align our support structure with our strategy,” Panera said. “This decision was not made lightly, and we are immensely grateful for the contributions of those impacted. We are committed to treating every associate with respect and compassion during this transition period.”
In addition to its C-suite changes, Panera Bread has made several changes to its board of directors this year. Initially, Panera Bread’s CEO Niren Chaudhary was named chairman of the board at Panera Brands, and José Alberto Dueñas — then president and CEO of Einstein Bros. Bagels — became CEO of Panera Brands on July 1. The company later named Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield as chairman of the board, effective January, following his resignation at the doughnut chain.
Panera did not respond to a request for comment on the layoffs by press time.