The Pathetic Nature of Panera

I like working here at Panera, because the fireplace is warm and the refills are free and the staff is insanely friendly and kind.

That said, the company that runs these places is maddening. To begin with, they make workers come in for an initial day of training—without paying them. Second, they start employees off at $8 an hour. Seriously, $8. I know times are tough and sandwich making isn’t bio-medicine, but the majority of the men and women who work here take the bus from the Bronx, which probably calls for an extra hour of time each way. They’re dedicated, hard-nosed, etc—and the job rewards them very little.

Here’s what gets me most: Most people here work nine-hour shifts. If they want to eat, they receive a 60% discount on food. No free meals, no free snacks. Nothing. I’ve never heard of this before—almost all restaurants of this ilk provide workers with one gratis meal per shift. It’s cheap, pathetic, insulting and speaks very poorly of the men and women running the corporate operations.

Ugh.

4 thoughts on “The Pathetic Nature of Panera”

  1. My friend worked at both Starbucks and Borders Cafes and said that if you work at these places, you are NOT allowed to eat the food, even if it is to be thrown out at the end of each night. What a waste.

  2. The fast-food places I’ve worked gave workers free beverages and half-off food. The sit-down restaurants had particular things we could eat free and everything else was half off.

  3. Keith Ryan Cartwright

    Mind you this was more than 20 years ago, but I worked — for a very short time — at Big Boy and all we got were free drinks and 50 percent off of select menu items during our break. And even then you had to work a six or more hour shift to get the discount.

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