With the company planning to make breakfast a bigger chunk of its sales, Panera is trying to appeal to time-sensitive customers who are juggling busy schedules and long commutes.
Usually Panera’s business effectively starts after 11a.m., but the company wants to focus on breakfast dining by offering different early-morning options with speed and convenience and light on quality.
In addition to the breakfast sandwiches started last year, the company will now sell wraps as the ultimate on-the-go portable breakfast food.
Panera is also diversifying its coffee offerings, outside its usual self-serve drip coffee, with new light and dark roasts to compete with more established coffee brewers like Starbucks (SBUX). In fact, it will grind its beans within the shops so that customers can witness the brewing process.
To further boost its breakfast sales, Panera has already rolled out a function on its app that allows customers to conveniently reorder their favorite breakfast items.
The company will start testing Panera Tap in May in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Customers buying self-serve coffee will just need to open Panera’s mobile app and tap their phones against an NFC smart poster to pay.
The breakfast war has been heating up for some time now, as chains like McDonald’s (MCD), Dunkin’ (DNKN) and Taco Bell (TACO) have pushed early morning offerings as a way to attract time-sensitive consumers.