What are the Panera Bread’s primary sources of competitive advantage? In your judgment, are these sources of advantages sustainable? Why or why not? Panera’s primary sources of competitive advantage are: (1) the distinctive nature of its bakery products, (2) its brand strength, (3) the atmosphere of its restaurants, and (4). its position in the restaurant industry Yes,Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ: PNRA) operates the signature restaurant chain Panera Bread, selling hand-crafted breads, sandwiches, salads, and drinks.
Panera Bread bakery-cafes are often associated with the concept of “fast casual”, a mixture between fast food and more upscale casual dining. Customers still pay for their food at the counter, like a traditional fast food restaurant, but Panera arranges tables and chairs to be conducive to group meetings. Most Panera Bread restaurants are located in suburban strip malls and regional malls. As of December 29, 2009, Panera had 1,380 bakery-cafes, spanning 38 states, as well as some locations in Canada.
Traditionally, companies like Panera have suffered in recessions, which decrease the frequency with which consumers eat out at restaurants. 1] However, Panera’s strategy during the recession has been “to stay consistent and not to react to the recession”, keeping costs constant and offering new salads and sandwiches.  As a result, Panera’s “fast casual” niche (between casual dining and fast food) contributes to its relative success; this positioning allowed it to avoid discounting wars and maintain its margins by attracting customers with a higher quality product perceived to be a good value for the money. Panera bread has a great meal of Bacon Turkey Bravo with 28G of fat per meal.
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