Panera Bread Is Replacing Cashiers With Kiosks

Panera Bread Restaurant

By Ashley Lutz

Panera Bread is going to start using kiosks to input customer orders.

The fast-casual chain will start adding about eight kiosks per restaurant, writes Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek. Customers will also be able to order from their phones.

As a result, there will be one to two fewer cashiers in restaurants.

Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich said that the new system would help accuracy of orders. Customers would also be able to customize their food.

Shaich told Businessweek that it won't be cutting back on workers. The former cashiers will now carry food to customers' tables.

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"The dirty little secret in the food industry is one in seven orders is wrong," Shaich told Businessweek. "We're one in ten, a little better than average. Half of those inaccuracies happen during order input."

Shaich also hopes the new system will help its slow service issue.

Panera Bread isn't the only company implementing electronic ordering.

McDonald's is also testing a tablet program that would let customers customize their burger toppings.

Meanwhile, restaurants like Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings are rolling out programs that let customers order and pay with a tablet.

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