A Message to Our Panera Family on COVID-19

March 13, 2020

Our Panera Family is just that—a family made up of associates, guests and the communities we serve. The health, safety and overall wellbeing of our family, and yours, is always our top priority.

With this in mind, we have been closely monitoring the rapidly-changing situation around COVID-19 (commonly referred to as coronavirus), responding to new information as it arises and preparing for all possible scenarios, with the goal of continuing to safely serve you in our bakery-cafes.

In addition to following the guidance provided by the CDC, WHO and local health departments, we are regularly consulting top medical experts as we implement our response. Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken the following steps beyond our usual high standards:

  • We prepared our associates and re-emphasized existing sanitation and illness policies, including frequent and proper handwashing, and our practices regarding wearing and changing of gloves.
  • We have implemented enhanced protocols for cleaning and sanitizing our bakery-cafes, including cleaning more frequently and adding additional cleanings with peroxide solution in high-touchpoint locations.
  • We’ve emphasized what associates can do to keep themselves and others safe, including not touching one’s face, and staying home if sick.
  • We have developed enhanced procedures to assess our associates’ fitness to return to work, risk of exposure after all personal travel, and have restricted air and rail travel.

Be assured we will do everything we can to continue to serve our guests safely and will closely follow the guidance of the CDC and local health officials. We are also in the process of implementing additional measures, including:

  • Adding hand sanitizer stands in all of our bakery-cafes, to be installed as they arrive over the coming weeks.
  • Adding antimicrobial covers for our Fast Lane Kiosks, to be installed as soon as they arrive.
  • Modifying operations when needed to be able to continue to serve you. At times, this may mean we limit our service to Rapid Pick-Up®, Delivery or Drive-Thru only.
  • Implementing contactless delivery: we will update you on this channel in the near future.

We also have procedures in place to temporarily close Panera bakery-cafes for deep cleanings if required to protect the safety of our customers and associates. We will always follow the guidance of local health officials as we continue to manage this community by community.

Finally, we are focused on making sure our associates can put their health first and foremost as we face this situation together. We are implementing an emergency PTO policy which will help ensure that our associates are able to stay home if they are sick or diagnosed with COVID-19.

We are working tirelessly to do what’s best for everyone who visits and works in our bakery-cafes. We are proud to be your second home, and look forward to seeing you again soon.

For the most current information on COVID-19, including government health guidelines, visit: