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Panera Bread Established a Unique Position in the Restaurant Industry by Using the Strategy of Creating a New Category Which Is Called

Essay by   •  July 18, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  865 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,896 Views

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Panera Bread established a unique position in the restaurant industry by using the strategy of creating a new category which is called “fast casual” in the industry. Panera successfully capture the advantages of both the fast food category (speed) and the casual dining category (good food) as this category offer consumers with the alternative they desire. ‘Fast casual” has positioned Panera Bread in unique position as well as contribute to its success.

Panera had taken action to distinguish itself from other rivals such as Starbucks. Panera had further their services by providing catering services to grow their business and obtain an advantages over rivals. The company also suggested a new time of day to eat specialty foods, calling the time between lunch and dinner “chill-out” time. Panera specializes in meeting four consumer dining needs (breakfast, lunch, daytime "chill out" and take home bread hand) by offering hand-tossed salads, signature sandwiches, and hearty soups served in edible sourdough bread bowls along with hot and cold coffee drinks. In addition, the company also offers an inviting neighborly atmosphere adding to their appeal as well. The fast-casual category has added a bonus to the mix- specialty food which lead Panera as the nation’s bread expert.

In my opinion, Panera Bread will reach its goal of becoming the leading national brand. This is because there is a consumer demand for bakery-café and quick-casual offerings, the information are provided by the source of consulting firm, Technomics, supports what is now a $5.2 billion category in the restaurant industry. Restaurant industry has the potential to continue to grow in excess of 10% annually which makes it as the fastest-growing segment in the industry. Panera has established a unique position in the market by having its products that are strongly differentiated from its rivals. In addition to that, Panera also known for its award-winning bakery expertise which will lead the company to be recognize as nation’s bread expert. According to Wall Street Journal, Panera scored the highest with customer loyalty in their market niche. In 2007, Sandleman & Associates Quick-Track “Awards of Excellence,” put Panera Bread Company as one of the top chain restaurants for the sixth consecutive year. They have a very strong brand image, which also contributes to their success.

Moreover, Panera is in a strong financial condition with sufficient of financial resources to grow their business further. The revenue of Panera Bread is approaching almost $1 billion, this shows that Panera Bread is a dominant force. In order to stay competitive and profitable in the industry, Panera has taken action to regularly reviews and revises their menu so that they are able to sustain their regular customers and make changes accordingly to customer preferences and be responsive and alert to various seasons of year ( Thompson).

In addition, Panera Bread has already existed in market for two decades of experience and gain customers recognition and trust. This will then be their one of significant competitive assets in the restaurant industry.

Panera Bread had created the barrier to entry  non t as the first mover advantage. It was the first time a company in the market that took this approach as fast-casual diner in the market. As Panera Bread is first mover with these experimental offerings they gain competitive advantages until competitors are able to copy their practices. For example, as competitors copy Panera’s ideas, Panera can go on with new product offerings and gain further advantages from them. It is crucial to have barrier because competition will not be reduced if new firms could enter easily, quickly, significantly.

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