Panera CEO Asks Customers To Leave Guns At Home

Following the lead of Starbucks, Chipotle, Target, and others, sandwich chain Panera is asking that customers please refrain from bringing firearms into their restaurants, but says it won’t stop people from doing so where it’s legal.

“[W]e recognize everyone’s rights,” Panera CEO Ron Shaich explained to CNBC this morning. “But we also recognize that we are building communities in our cafes and are where people come to catch a breath.”

“We’re simply respectfully requesting that people leave their guns at home,” added Shaich, who says that he knows of no particular issues with customers who have carried firearms into Panera locations.

The request from Shaich is just that — a request. He says there will be no “no guns” signs posted, nor will employees be asked to enforce a no-gun policy.

“We’re certainly not going to put our associates in the position of confronting someone carrying a gun,” he explained. “We won’t put our café management in the position of being law enforcement.”

And just like in the earlier instances involving restaurants and stores that have asked customers to not carry guns in their stores, the response online has been divided.

“Thank you for making the good choice and asking your customers to leave their guns at home,” reads one favorable response on the Panera Facebook page. “I will take my business to your store.”

“Panera doesn’t want my gun, then they don’t want me,” reads one negative comment. “Too bad, I liked your menu.”

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