Panera makes plans to speed service

Panera Bread's 1.7% same-store sales rise last quarter came from higher prices and not higher traffic -- transaction counts were down as the chain's slow service turned off customers, said CEO Ron Shaich. The fast-casual chain will make several changes to improve service levels, starting with spending $15 million annually to add 35 more weekly labor hours at company stores. Panera will also introduce a simplified menu after Thanksgiving and create dedicated hubs to handle catering orders.

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