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Work at Panera Bread — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Panera Bread pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Panera Bread

4.3Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From MO — 11/22/2009

I don't know what's wrong with many of the people on here, but IMHO, this company is very nice to work for. Yes, you have to be VERY fast paced, and you have to deal with a lot of BS, but that's life.

Pay: Pay is pretty decent. If you ask for a good wage when you start, it will help out a lot later on. There are raises every so often as you work your way up. Basically, you get what you work for. If you work your butt off (meaning not screwing around and talking all the time) and act professional, you'll be held in much higher regards for pay raises. Which is how it should be.

Respect: My managers don't tolerate drama, and it makes work life is SO much easier. But they still know how to be fun and respect their associates. If you respect those around you and don't participate in drama, you'll be in the clear and highly respected.

Benefits: Benefits are very good here. There's a range to get, and they're accessible when you are full time.

Job Security: This company is doing very well, so job security is there as long as you prove you're a good worker.

Career Potential / Growth: Again, if you work hard and are willing to learn your outlook is good.

Location: They aren't on every corner like Walgreens, but there are a fair amount of locations, and they usually are in good areas.

Co-Worker Competence: There is a huge range here in age. Some of the high school kids are immature, but overall everyone's fairly good to work with. Sure, you'll get the bad egg every once in a while, but that is anywhere.

Work Environment: Very fast paced, you'll have the slow times followed by rushes where you'll be running around. But compared to a lot of places, it's a very nice atmosphere to be in.
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4.1Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits3
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Tulsa, Oklahoma — 08/10/2009

Pay: Pay is fine. I started off at $7.25 and am now making $8.01, with two raises coming in this week. I found that if you work hard and learn how to do most of everything in the store, it is very easy to get a decent pay, but you have to be smart.

Respect: I have had some bad managers roll through who were so disrespectful to me I came close to walking out, but those are just a few rotten bunches. The majority of my managers are awesome, and I get along with them on a very personal level. I would say that I treat them as family now.

Benefits: I am part time and soon full time, so I do not know. I hear medical so shady, but dental and vision is very very cheap and good (three cleanings a year and discounted checkups) and you can get a full weeks vacation every six months which isn't bad if you are an associate in school! Managers get up to 120 hours vacation every six months once they hit ten years, and a starting vacation of 40.

Job Security: Security is so-so. I get 25-30 hours a week, but I am in high school, but I still get five days a week. If you do not know how to do a lot of different things at the store (as in only wash dishes) and don't make yourself available every day, you won't get hours, it is as easy as that.

Work/Life Balance: Five days a week, was doing six during the summer, but that is only because I requested it so I could work 40 hour weeks. Scheduled off days are very easy because they have many teenage employees who never want to work but are still hired so they just used them as substitutes, really. Luckily I don't get that treatment.

Career Potential/Growth: Could be better, but it is not bad. I started off knowing only cashiering and dish, but I begged to be on the line and they put me on, and gave me a raise. Now they are making me a trainer, and giving me a big raise to keep me around. I've been asked to become a baker, and told that if I weren't in school that they would consider me for a management position.

Location: Only 15 minutes from work and school, about 5 mile drive. Very convenient for my schedule.

Co-worker Competence: Managers are very smart, and they do their job well. They have an amazing amount of dedication, even when things get rough and they have to pull 14 hour days or close and opens, but they help inspire me to work harder because of their example. But a lot of our teenage associates are arrogant, slow, and just down-right stupid. Most are too busy talking to each other to get work done, and our most recent employee on the line (in training) is the slowest person I had to work with, but they don't want to fire her because we are still putting her through training..argh.

Work Environment: Very chill, but with high focus on getting the job done. We don't get yelled at for talking unless we cause it to run into how we treat customers, or if it causes us to get out later or put us behind. I have never been in trouble for off days or when I do something wrong, on purpose or accident. We're always understanding of eachother.
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay3
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth2
Location5
Co-Workers1
Work Environment3

From Fort Wayne IN — 06/07/2009

Pay: Well what can you expect from a fast food place not much but I do think that its mesed up that alot of people who dont do crap get payed more.

Respect: Where I work you get respect if you are a hard worker if you just standing around all day or night noone is going to respect you. My GM is awesome hes the only one I really get along with, prolly cuz he usually just sits ine the office most of the night.

Benefits: Wouldnt know about them.

Job Security: As far as know you wont get fired unless you steal, no call no show, or threaten someone (customer, co-worker)

Work/Life Balance:Its alright untill your the one they always call to fill someoen in but you dont have to go in and on holdays its really hard to get off if everyone puts a request in.

Location: The location is close to me but it also sucks cuz its in a more richer area so ALL the customers think they are better than you regardless of how far up you are


Co-worker Competence: my cafe isnt that bad with people thank GOD

Work enviorment: its not that bad except the most of the customers suck cuz they think they need special treatment like theyre at a 5 star resturaunt or something. and some of the manangers can be really rude as hell wich is redicoulus becase most of tham started at the bottom just like everyone else
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4.3Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits4
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Arlington Heights IL — 04/20/2009

PAY: If you do a good job you'll get paid well.
Respect: in order to earn respect you have to have respect. Managers don't respect lazy people.
Benefits: The benefits at Panera aren't that bad. For the price they cover a lot.
Job Security: I go back and forth to college and never worry about getting hours when I'm home. If you are a good worker you will have no problems with job security.
Work/Life: Yeah, You do basically live at the cafe but thats what any "real job" requires. Panera is a stickler about overtime so it isn't like 40 hours will kill anyone.
Potential growth: Amazing opportunities for employees. There are Regional Managers that started as dishwashers in a cafe. They like to promote within
Location: Not the best but i like that it isn't to busy.
Co-workers: Just like any other job that hires young kids, they don't always get things right away.
Work Environment: I love my job and my managers. The bad reviews have come from people with bad experience but not all are like that.
I've been with the company 3 years and have been promoted to management and with a bad economy why not stick with a company that continues to grow in a bad time.
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4.6Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Toledo, OH — 03/01/2009

this company has continued to grow by leaps and bounds despite the economy. There is so much room to move ahead and in general the company really wants its employees to do well. We are respected, encouraged, and rewarded often. I am a baker and absolutely LOVE my job!
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3.8Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security4
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers3
Work Environment4

From Mechanicsville, Va — 01/12/2009

Pay: I started in Christiansburg making $7.25. After six months I was given a $0.14 raise, which was pretty random, but understandable. Management was given an amount of money (based upon how that particular store rated) to divide amongst the employees that had shown for every shift. After transferring to Midlothian, my new GM told me he would even my pay out to $7.50 (not $7.39). After two paychecks I realized this never happened. I transferred lately to Mechanicsville. They offered me a raise to $8.50, but I had to wait three more months for my GM to enable it (I guess it has to stay between the annual raises time frame). I am now satisfied with my pay, and I think it reflects my effort.

Respect: I think this depends on the manager for sure. I'm not saying they disrespect you, but we've got one that can be very... intimidating. He's just cocky and can be an ass during a rush. My GM is very friendly and makes working very comfortable.

Benefits: Health insurance does not apply to me, but I know they offer it for an okay (but not amazing) price. We do get 60% off all food and free drinks. Managers usually allow anything free if we ask. The latest you'd ever have to stay at night would be 10pm...definitely a plus over waitressing.

Job Security: It's really HARD to get fired from Panera. I once knew an employee that had stuck a sign on the drive-thru saying "Out of Order," and she just texted and fooled around all night. She was, of course, fired; but then rehired less than a week later after apologizing. If you don't show for work on multiple occasions without an excuse, you are fired. That's all I've ever witnessed.

Work/Life Balance: Panera will call you outside of your schedule if you have open availability. You don't HAVE to go in though. I can easily request time off and adjust any scheduling problems with other employees or managers. If I want more hours they seem to listen. It's fine.

Career Potential/Growth: Panera seems to really excite new employees. I remember being hired with early recommendation to become a shift supervisor. They must have been desperate, because I was encouraged to send my resume to hire management soon after. This, however, led to no reply and the position was soon filled (by someone much more experienced). If you are cool with the managers, they will offer you greater potential. The work you put in eventually pays off. I am now a black hat trainer, because I came in on my own time to do hours of e-learning (online training for all areas of the cafe). After working at three different Paneras for a total year, I think that's appropriate. If I stay at Panera, I believe to have more possibilities (or at least great resume builders).

Location: Panera is one of the fastest growing businesses right now, so they're pretty much close and everywhere. I live about 20 minutes away from work now, but they're building a new store just down the street by summer! (I'm hoping to transfer...AGAIN!)

Co-worker Competence: It bothers me that someone who tries half as much as I do could be paid the same or receive the same treatment. My current shift supervisor is completely scatter-brained and has been working with Panera less than I have. The first day I transferred to Mechanicsville he asked me how to make Chai tea and Frozen drink mix (if you work for Panera, you should know this is ridiculous for a manager to ask an employee...especialy because the directions are on the base mix). Throughout the time there I feel as though I have taught him other random tidbits rather than him teaching me anything. He was unaware how to get steamed water out of the coffee brewers, unaware of temperature danger zones and how long food lasts, unaware how much sugar goes into the sweet tea, etc. It's very frustrating. I do, however, believe that most people know (at least somewhat) of what they should be doing there.

Work Environment: This depends. Some days at work can be really fun, while other days can put you in a horrible mood. It depends upon the manager's moods and really how busy it may be. Slow days could be incredibly boring, while busy days can be frustrating from customer complaints or desires. Adding to the obesity of America is not exactly the most rewarding job, but I feel so much less stress from Panera as I did from any previous waitressing. It's an overall relaxed environment.
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3.9Rating Details
Category
Pay2
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From West Des Moines, Iow — 10/17/2008

Not gunna lie working there was a great! worked there for my first few years of high school.

Pay-- wasnt great but It got me by (remember I was in high school) but as a teenager working there you could easily make it by with bills and all I had 3 grand in debt for tickets still made it by.

Respect-- was okay everyone got along pretty good never had any arguments everyone had a helping hand and the management treated me pretty good even if I slacked off which I usually did!

Benifits-- were pretty good for the older people working there they all said they loved them!

Job security-- Was pretty good after two weeks they would promote you from house cleaner to eather food prep, or registers or where ever they thought you would be useful! they eventually made it so you could do everything in the store! which was good when they needed you to help out at other stores so you didnt get stuck doing dishes there you could go cook the pizza (highly recomended btw there awesome)

Work/life balance-- was fairly good all the time I needed off they would give me as long as I found someone to fill in for me!

Location-- was awesome everyday was like 10 mins to get there and I lived clear on the other side of town/ and the girls that came threw WOW!!! it was great that it was connected to a mall

Co worker competence-- was good everyone was helpful and always came in with a good mood

Encironment was good always clean really friendly area and alot of hott chicks
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4.8Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth5
Location4
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From East Longmeadow, MA — 07/08/2008

PAY: The pay here, in my honest opinion, is fairly distributed. I started in October of 2005 at 7.00 an hour. I was only 17 at the time, and it was my second job. (six flags was my first job and it was 6.75 an hour so 7 sounded amazing) I've been here 2.5 years and make 10.20 an hour. It would have been higher if I hadn't been store jumped (Helped open the chicopee location). Like most jobs, the harder you work and can prove yourself, the better rate of pay and more recognition you'll get.

RESPECT: I absolutely love my coworkers, if for nothing more than for the fact that there is this amazing level of respect throughout all the different levels of workforce. I personally am a supervisor. I get amazing respect from both the management, and the associates. It's great because it's mutual.

BENEFITS: I get at least one paid vacation week a year, it depends on the hours that I work. I actually work 40 hours a week, so it accrues fairly quickly. I also have health insurance with Blue Cross for 50 bucks a check (we're paid bi-weekly), Dental for 5 and voluntary life for 3. I eat for free. Things like this seem not so important, but I'm very grateful to have been so lucky to find a job like this.
JOB SECURITY: Along with the Respect and what not, my coworkers and even those above me know me enough to know what I am capable of and my potential. I've never once done anything to plant any negative thoughts in their heads, and therefore feel very secure in my workplace. They know I want to make a career out of this so... :)

WORK/LIFE BALANCE: I've had no issues whatsoever as far as my scheduling is concerned. My GM does the scheduling, and he always reads the request off book and if something major comes up with short notice, he helps try to work things out. He also does our schedules 4-6 weeks in advanced so I can plan any free time around work. The only thing is every once in a while I'm scheduled a closing/opening shift, but the most it does is make me a little tired lol

CAREER POTENTIAL/GROWTH: As soon as I started working at Panera, I knew it was a job that I would love. Within a week I was training other new hires, because a new store in West Springfield was opening up. The management there noticed me, the District training people noticed me, everyone had said I was going to be big. The only thing that was a disadvantage was my age. At 18 I was moved up to Supervisor, and now, at 20, I'm next up in line for an internal promotion. The minimum age to be an assistant manager is 21, so I have a little while to work on myself. All in all this company has done so much for me and as a trainer, I always tell my trainees that you'll get back just what you put into this work, at least. I've seen many people get hired and grow like I have, it's all what you do for the company.

LOCATION: This location was very convenient when I was 17 and lived at home. I was literally 3 minutes away. Now I live on the Chicopee border with my Fiancee and its about 20 mins away. With gas prices, it is a little more of a pain, but I have a little car that's fuel efficient, so I still don't worry all that much.

CO-WORKER COMPETENCE: I don't have much to complain about as far as co-workers are concerned. The only thing that's really much of an issue is that there's a bit of the anti-fraternization rules that are ignored. Everything else is great. I can depend on them for anything and they know they can depend on me.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Greatest work environment ever. Every once in a while you get the ignorant customer, but for the most part, they are great. We know each other by names, I know what they order, they ask about my life, it's great. I always feel very accomplished with whatever tasks I'm assigned throughout my shift, whether it be actually running the shift, being on register, Making the food, or cleaning. Again I say, this really is an amazing company, and I'd give anything for it, and I really hope that anyone looking for a job stumbles across this.
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