Hi Panera! Meet Chick-Fil-A (& Say Goodbye To Me)


For the past 8 months, I’ve been ordering from Panera Catering for my “Lunch & Learns”.  Essentially, a lunch & learn is provided by my employer.  We purchase lunch for an architect/design firm, and then I give a lecture/class that provides continuing education credits that are required to keep yourself in good standing with the various professional groups the architects & designers belong to.

I give lots of these, and during that time I’ve ordered food from Panera 95% of the time.  They have locations everywhere, their deliveries are on time, and the food is fresh and good.  They’ve been so reliable that over the past 8 months through my employer I’ve given them over $4500 in business.

Who could ask for more, right?  Well, I could.

About a month ago, my fiancee’ and her daughter went to a local Panera location for lunch.  The cashier couldn’t have been more abrupt and rude, not only to them, but the customer before them.  I have no reason to believe that she was any nicer to anyone behind them in line.

Well, as someone who likes the food chain, and who works in a customer service capacity, I thought it would be important to let them know of this experience.  I went to their website, and contacted Panera with all of the specific details (store number, location, and the name of the cashier that was on the receipt).

A week went by, and I heard nothing from them, so I decided to try to get their attention through their corporate Facebook page.  Again, no response.  In the interim, I spend another $200 for a catered event.   I decided to post to them on Twitter.  Same result, no response.

I was starting to feel a little neglected, as if Panera didn’t care about this far from satisfying experience.  Please note that my contact was nice, I told them how I appreciated their catering service, & how I as well as others like their food.  Again, I ordered another $160 worth of food.

This morning, I read an interesting blog from someone who had an experience at Chick-fil-A that left him dissatisfied.  He contacted them to express his dissatisfaction. Here’s a link to his article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chick-fil-a-way-handling-complaint-david-allen?trk=v-feed&trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BJANcWjC5ByiqheuBVg5xHw%3D%3D

Important to note is how quickly the company responded to their customer, expressed their apologies, and even offered somewhat of a solution.


I reflected on that, knowing that this customer may have spent less than $10 and got an immediate response, and I’ve given Panera $4500+, and received none.  That’s disappointing to say the least.

Now, I realize that earlier this month, Panera was purchased by the same group that also owns Krispy Kreme.  I’m diabetic, and don’t know much about Krispy Kreme and their products, but I can bet that they would have expressed more concern if they’d received several contacts like the ones I sent to Panera.  Here’s an article that discusses the Panera purchase

Needless to say, the office catering market is a crowded market, whether it’s chains like Cosi & Zoe’s Kitchen (who also have great products), or individual food providers in the areas where I work.  I’ll certainly be using more of them, and I’m pretty sure they’ll appreciate my business a whole lot more that Panera did.

If this sounds like a breakup, it is.  I’m sorry, but I was faithful, and you took me for granted.  I’m sure you’ll be okay without me, as I without you, but I’m afraid it’s over…



Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: