Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) continues catering and benefiting from recovering confidence by their business customers, and the fast casual restaurant has now introduced a pasta product that can help gain more dinner customers, says Stephen Anderson, Analyst at Miller Tabak + Co., LLC.
“We just added Panera to our ‘buy’ list several weeks ago. I think they continue to do the right things. Catering continues to be a driver for them, and also I think this is a macro story; as more businesses start to get a little more confidence, they’ll do more catering in house,” Anderson said.
Anderson says fast casual restaurants such as Panera will continue to be a winning category. He says that, in addition to having the ability to offer higher-quality food at a lower price, customers perceive these restaurants as having a halo effect with higher healthiness standards than peers. Moreover, PNRA is expanding and growing its customer base with new products.
“In recent years, I think Panera has almost become synonymous with catering with its sandwiches and soups; I think the introduction of pasta is going to help out in that regard as well. It’s a product that carries well on a catering basis and also provides an opportunity potentially to gain a couple more dinner customers on the margin,”Anderson said.
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