Panera Bread is a huge hit with 2012 systemwide sales reaching $3.4 billion (including franchisees). Just this year, Panera Bread made the Fortune 1,000 list for the first time.
What makes Panera such a success and a growth engine? Part of the answer can be found in this quote from its Web site: “We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven. We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual. We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family. We are friends.”
Recently, Ron Shaich — the founder and co-CEO of Panera Bread — sat down for an extensive interview with Fortune’s Beth Kowitt. His story is one of motivation, enthusiasm, entrepreneurship, commitment to the community, and the willingness to take risks.
Click on the photo to read the full Shaich interview.
Photo by Brad DeCecco