Panera Bread, which operates locally as St. Louis Bread Co., is adding delivery to customers in the St. Louis area.
Signs went up at St. Louis Bread Co. stores this week touting the new delivery service, and the company has dozens of jobs posted for delivery drivers in the St. Louis area.
St. Louis Bread Co. will slowly add delivery at individual restaurants in the coming weeks, Panera’s president, Blaine Hurst, told the Post-Dispatch. With the service, customers can order lunch and dinner from their smartphones or laptops and have it delivered to their homes or offices for a $3 fee.
“Our expectation is that we’ll have delivery fully throughout the St. Louis area in early or mid-April,” Hurst said.
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Delivery will be added at all Panera restaurants nationwide by the end of next year, he said.
Panera began testing delivery about two years ago in Louisville, Ky., and expanded the service to Charlotte, N.C. By the end of 2016, Panera had delivery at 15 percent of its chain, or about 300 restaurants, in multiple markets.
Delivery has been popular at restaurants after launching, Hurst said. Panera delivery brings in $5,000 in revenue weekly, on average, 90 days after the service is made available.
Panera, which is headquartered in Sunset Hills, offers local delivery to catering customers in St. Louis but hadn’t yet extended delivery for individual orders to customers’ homes and businesses.
In recent years, Panera and St. Louis Bread Co. added the ability to order by iPads inside restaurants as part of its Panera 2.0 technology initiative.
Customers will see more tech upgrades soon. In the coming weeks, Panera plans to roll out new ordering technology for its delivery service that allows customers to track their order and get text or email updates about order status.
“We’ll deliver a much more Uber-like experience,” Hurst said of the changes.
Lisa Brown • 314-340-8127
@lisabrownstl on Twitter