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Panera Bread

Panera Bread Franchise

With its carefully crafted reputation for health food served up fast, combined with warm, comfortable surroundings, Panera Bread has become one of the fastest-growing franchise brands in America. Its menu, with savory baked breads, soufflés and sweets, as well as a full offering of café fare, including Panini sandwiches, hand-tossed salads, delectable soups and a kids’ menu that ranks among the best, Panera Bread draws a crowd from morning to night. In addition, the friendly, coffeehouse-type atmosphere in Panera Bread locations encourages customers to relax, sip coffee and chat, read or work online. More about the cost of owning a Panera Bread franchise below.

Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$1,117,000 - $3,464,000
Franchise fee
Units in operation


Panera Bread sells marketing regions to franchise owners, working with franchisees to open a series of its bakery-cafes—typically 15—over a period of 6 years.

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Panera Bread Franchise Opportunities – History

Panera Bread was originally the Au Bon Pain Co., which purchased the St. Louis Bread Company in 1993 as its headquarters, then changed the company name to Panera Bread and began a nationwide expansion. The St. Louis Bread Company retains its brand name. Today, Panera Bread oversees 1,453 locations nationwide, all franchise-owned and operated, in addition to 17 facilities that bake and deliver fresh dough to the bakery-café locations every day.

Panera Bread Franchise Fee and Total Investment Required


The Panera Bread initial franchise fee is $35,000, with the total investment required to become a Panera Bread franchise owner between $942,000 and $1.6 million.

Panera Bread Franchise Business Opportunities: Other Information

With its emphases on health, wellness, fresh ingredients, delicious recipes and excellent service, Panera Bread has built a solid reputation nationally as a strong, dependable business with a conscience. In 2010, Panera Bread’s nonprofit foundation created Panera Cares, a nonprofit “Pay what you can” restaurant in St. Louis. The concept has since expanded to Dearborn, Michigan, and Portland, Oregon. Panera Bread is also one of the largest providers of free WiFi in the country.


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