Panera Bread’s newest menu additions still include bread—flatbread that is. Three new flatbread pizzas are available at Panera as the restaurant continues to remodel its menu.
Panera’s new menu offerings may encourage loyal customers to switch up their orders, as it unveils three new pizzas. Customers can choose from a plain Cheese Flatbread, a Margherita pizza, or a Chipotle Chicken and Bacon flatbread, with each made from crispy, artisan flatbread, fresh mozzarella, and fontina cheese, among other toppings. The flatbreads can be ordered as a single serving or as a “You Pick Two” option, which allows customers to pair their pizza with another menu item, such as a salad or soup. Panera is selling the flatbreads for $7.99 and they can be ordered in-store or on the restaurant brand’s app. The pizzas will also be a part of Panera’s new “Cool Food Meals” initiative, which tells customers what menu items are the most eco-friendly and carbon neutral. By tying its menu updates together, Panera could spur an increase in restaurant visits from both eco-friendly customers and those looking to try something new, according to a Gartner report on the topic.
Panera’s flatbread pizzas will be included in their restaurant delivery service, which has doubled in demand during the Coronavirus pandemic. By advertising its new flatbreads on its app, Panera could further encourage customers to try out the new food when ordering delivery or pick-up. Panera’s partnership with Google Maps, which lets customers order from their nearest location on the map page, could also boost awareness of the latest menu addition. Additionally, Panera brings its promotions to social media, including on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where it dedicated several posts to showing up close images and videos of its cheesy flatbreads. By marketing its flatbreads across social media and mobile apps, Panera could reach a wider array of homebound consumers, who may tap into its delivery offerings or drive-thru services to try out the new food during the pandemic. Releasing the pizzas concurrent to its seasonal menu items could also help Panera engage loyal customers, as they return to stores to pick up their favorite foods.
Adding a new food category that’s consistent with its bread branding could help Panera set the stage for more unique menu additions in the future. Additionally, by releasing the flatbread pizzas right before winter, Panera could reach customers in search of comfort food and restaurant delivery.