Panera Bread’s Awesome New Delivery Service Will Mean 10,000 Jobs in 2017

panera bread
Panera Bread/Facebook

Without exaggeration (OK, with a little exaggeration), here’s the best news we’ve received in years: Panera Bread will now be delivering food right to your door via a whole fleet of new delivery drivers.

And yeah, this means exactly what you think it means: sourdough bread bowls in bed. (Henceforth renamed “sourdough bed bowls.” Wait, is that gross? Sorry.)

Following a recent announcement that Panera Bread is being acquired by JAB Holding (to the tune of about $7.5 billion), everyone’s favorite fast-casual hot bread hawker is expanding in a big way.

You Pick Two (or 10,000)

By the end of 2017, the company plans to hire 10,000 new employees to fuel a period of rapid growth, which will include integrating delivery services into more of its cafe locations.

Panera currently offers delivery services at about 15% of its cafe locations but hopes to bring that number up to 35 or 40% by the end of the year.

Of the 10,000 new employees, about 75% will be delivery drivers, while the remaining 25% will fill in-house positions.

In a statement, the company noted that the new drivers will have “daytime hours and competitive wages,” and will deliver food to homes, hospitals, businesses and campuses within a radius of about eight miles or so from each cafe location.

The new delivery service will be linked to the company’s ever-improving digital and mobile ordering-based service, which will create a seamless experience where customers can place an order for as little as $5 and have it delivered with real-time tracking.

How Panera Bread’s Delivery System Will Work

Blaine Hurst, President of Panera Bread, said that drivers will use their own cars for deliveries. Drivers will be vetted by the company and each driver’s insurance and driving record will be reviewed before they are certified to work. Vehicles will be inspected frequently and drivers will be compensated for their mileage.

If this sounds similar to another company’s food-delivery model, well, it is. After initially testing third-party delivery services, Panera decided no outside delivery service could cover the company’s needs at its current scale, according to Hurst.

To skirt the contracted driver system, Panera constructed a similar model, allowing the company to avoid amassing a fleet of vehicles while still maintaining control over the pleasant guest experience that the company is valued for.

Panera has only started hiring delivery drivers in select locations, but that reach is expected to broaden over the coming months.

If you’re interested in working as a delivery driver for the company, keep an eye on the open jobs page on Panera’s website.

Your Turn: Are you interested in becoming a delivery driver for Panera Bread? Or are you simply dreaming of eating cafe fare in your PJs?

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s all about those bagels.

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