Ron Shaich, co-founder of Panera Bread Co., pictured surrounded by loaves of bread, March 5, 2006. (Photo by Michael L Abramson/Getty Images)
The Major Fast-Casual Trend That Started At Panera Bread
By Chris Day
When you think of Panera Bread, you might envision comforting foods like a Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich or something light and healthy, like the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. However, you may also wonder about the nutritional value of the item you’re eating and how healthy it truly is.
In 2010, Panera Bread blazed a trail by including nutrition information for its menu items, and many other chains like McDonald’s followed their lead before this information became mandatory under the Affordable Care Act of 2016. The company stated in 2018 that it continues striving to be more transparent with consumers and wants them to really "think about food."
While listing nutrition facts at restaurants is meant to help consumers make better dietary decisions, some of the information may come as a shock — like the Mac & Cheese Bread Bowl that has a whopping 1,150 calories. Love them or hate them, these nutrition facts provide vital information and go a long way toward educating consumers.