Panera: Taking the digital space by storm

For those investors looking for a place to hide in this hideous market, Jim Cramer recommended to look at Panera Bread.

The company reported a fantastic quarter on Wednesday, thus removing earnings risk from the stock. Panera is a chain of more than 1,900 bakery cafes that serve health- and taste-conscious food.

Cramer spoke with Panera CEO Ronald Shaich, who attributed the company’s success to its 2.0 model that was first unveiled in 2014. The revamp was aimed at enhancing guest experience at Panera through digital ordering, payment and operations.

“Our view is essentially we are moving into an omni-channel world. As we built out 2.0, it is really a better guest experience,” Shaich said.

A Panera Bread location in Chicago.

Getty Images
A Panera Bread location in Chicago.

“We try to do most things quietly. We are more interested in touching the customer.”-Ronald Shaich, Chairman & CEO, Panera Bread

One of the ways that Panera has aimed to enhance the customer experience is through delivery. As the company rolled out Panera 2.0, it quickly understood that the technology it built would be able to allow it to include the delivery option.

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The CEO also confirmed that Panera has the largest loyalty program in the restaurant industry. It has enrolled 50 percent of its customers, while the next best restaurant is Starbucks at 25 percent.

Additionally Shaich said that today Panera is the leading digital restaurant company, inclusive of Starbucks, outside of the big three pizza operators.

“We try to do most things quietly. We are more interested in touching the customer,” he said. (Tweet This)