I agree with Michael, Panera has succeeded in becoming a “third place” for many americans. I wonder how much their location choices has played in their success. I have primarily lived in suburban areas and always frequented Panera, and must say that I have never seen the line issues experienced by others. I have seen stores operating at fairly high capacity throughout the day though. I think by locating in areas that have several demographics in close proximity (retirees, Stay-at-home parents, young professionals), the Panera’s that I have visited were successful in balancing demand, in part, due to their choices of where to operate. I wonder, as the U.S. gets closer to saturation of fast casual restaurants, how they will need to alter their stores to meet the needs of different customers than they are used to serving?
Great Post Cathy. I wonder if the fact that Regina Miracle generates 35% of its revenue from L Brands worries the company leadership? I wonder how much they are trying to diversify their revenue base (Under Armour)?