Panera Breads new Margherita flatbread pizza
Panera Bread has just added flatbread pizzas to its national menus as the coronavirus pandemic has pushed more customers to order execution and delivery.
As of Wednesday, Panera's other offerings will include chipotle chicken and bacon, margherita and cheese pizzas. The flatbread pizzas are big enough to be shared and are designed to travel well no matter how long delivery takes.
Eduardo Luz, Panera's chief brand and concept officer, said the pandemic had resulted in a change in customer behavior. More of them forego comfortable indoor seating and choose delivery or take away for safety reasons. For example, transit orders have increased by "high double-digit numbers", according to Luz. Panera, privately owned by Krispy Kremes owner JAB Holding, is one of many chains looking to add more thoroughfares to their branches due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Delivery also drives sales. According to Luz, the delivery orders have doubled compared to the same period last year. And pizza on the menu could add to those numbers. Domino & # 39; s, Papa John & # 39; s and Yum Brands' Pizza Hut saw sales surge during blackouts as customers sought simple, affordable options for meals.
"We believe flatbread pizza fits these channels perfectly," said Luz.
Panera's efforts to downsize the menu earlier this year have given way to the new flatbread pizzas, according to Luz. Like McDonald & # 39; s and Taco Bell, Panera had to shorten the menu items to ease the workload for the kitchen staff, who also dealt with the added complexity of social distancing measures.
The company started testing the new menu item last year to attract more customers to dinner. Panera's soups, salads, and sandwiches were too light for dinner for some, so the company focused on heartier dishes like the flatbread pizzas.
Prices start at $ 7.99.