Case 8 Panera Bread

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Date Submitted: 08/05/2011 04:24 AM

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1. What is Panera Bread’s strategy? Which of the five generic competitive strategies discussed in Chapter 5 most closely fit the competitive approach that Panera Bread is taking? What type of competitive advantage is Panera Bread trying to achieve?

Panera Bread’s strategy is “to provide a premium specialty bakery and café experience to urban workers and suburban dwellers. It does this by paying attention to the details and offering artesian sour dough breads from its award winning bakery.

The Competitive strategy that Panera Bread fits into is the differentiation strategy, because they command a premium price for their product, they have increased unit sales and they have gained buyer loyalty. It does this by competing in the fast-casual restaurant category and distinguishes itself from fast food restaurants by offering more enticing menus, higher food quality and more inviting dining environments (Thompson, Strickland, Gamble, 2010).

Panera bread is trying to be better than the people across the street. They are trying to become the more attractive choice for their customers. Panera hopes to be so attractive to its customer base that customers are willing to pass by Panera’s competitors to come dine with them. Panera does this by focusing on providing an entire dining experience instead of just focusing on price to attract its customers. The objective for Panera was to be viewed as a good value by providing high quality food at reasonable prices (Thompson, et al., 2010)

2. What does a SWOT analysis of Panera Bread reveal about the overall attractiveness of its situation? Does the company have any core competencies or distinctive competencies?


• Attractive & appealing menu

• Start to finish bread production/standardization of bread products at company and franchised stores

• Nationwide leader in the bakery-café segment

• High ratings in customer satisfaction studies/ customer loyalty

• Catering operations

• Marketing

• Ability...