Panera Bread Customer Service Rises To The Occasion

Dave sent the following lovenote to Panera Bread after they made a bad situation into a great customer service experience. He writes,

On 8/26/08 I stopped by my local Panera Bread [in Waterloo Iowa] after work to pick up dinner for my wife and I. We’ve always been very pleased with the level of service and quality of food we’ve received from Panera in the past. Last night however was a slightly different experience…

I ordered a pick 2 with the smoked turkey sandwich and a Caesar salad for my wife, and I ordered the chicken and rice soup in a breadbowl for myself. I waited in line while other customers received their tasty orders and I watched (as much as I could, due to your high counters) as the employees assembled our dinners. They called my name and I took my bag and headed home. I live about 4 miles from Panera. I arrived home and started to take our meals out
of the bag only to find that my wife’s salad was mistakenly overlooked.

Frustrated, I called the store and spoke with the manager, I started to explain the situation and before I could get two sentences into the story, the manager asked if I was missing a Caesar salad from my pick two!

She explained that there were two gentlemen in line named Dave and we apparently both ordered Pick 2’s. She then offered to hold $20 in gift certificates at the store for us or mail them out to our house. Our total for the evening was less than $12 and the salad probably accounted for less than a third of that. Its not very often I deal with such great customer service like this. Please be sure to let the manager that evening know she’s doing an EXCELLENT job of keeping her customers happy and coming back to Panera Bread!

Thank you very much!!!

– Dave in Iowa

Radical. See how effective great service can be? This proactive manager transformed a potentially a damaging experience for Dave into a success story turning this customer into a fan. Not only will Dave and his wife return again to Panera, but they probably also tell this out of-the-ordinary story to others.

(Photo: Morton Fox)