When waiting to get served is not an option, and McDonald’s seem to be too much to bear, the next best thing is to eat in a café. These coffee shop chains/bread companies have sprouted all over the world now, and all sorts of people turn to these places because eating here is healthier, and not just some microwaveable junk food thrown in a paper bag. What’s more is these chains have expanded their line and are not just in the business of selling bread anymore. They are offering café-like setting and are now serving salads and soups too.
Panera Bread is one of these places. Established in 1987 in Missouri, this bread-making company started as a spin off by another bread company chain. At present, they already have more than 1000 shops. They now offer more than just sandwiches and bread. In their menu, you can find items like pastas, soups, salads, smoothies and espressos. They still make bread with fresh dough every day and is still committed to the high quality of baked bread that they started in 1987.
However, there are still people who don’t see Panera’s commitment to quality. Since the bread is done at the dinner hour, most customers during the day miss out on the oven-fresh bread. Many also have complained that a lot of items on the menu weren’t available. There was also a review of one customer who said that the quality of bread was getting worse, while the prepared food was way better. There were complaints that the salad was wilted and the soup lacked chunkiness. Prices were also a bit high, according to several reviewers at $9 for a sub.
Some Panera customers did mention that spending lunch hour was great here, because of the free wifi and friendly staff.
The Corner Bakery Café on the other hand seemed to get more raves from diners. One of the favorites is the chicken pesto on ciabatta ficelle, or a ciabatta split in half to accommodate chicken breast, tomatoes, pesto mayo and arugula in sweet and spicy vinaigrette. Another signature sandwich is the tomato mozzarella on ciabatta, which is a nice combination of tomatoes, basil and arugula in balsamic vinaigrette and mozzarella. Grilled chicken pomodori hit a warm spot in several reviewers of this café, recommending it as a must-order.
The Corner Bread Café is highly praised for their pancake breakfast – which is 5 stacks of pancakes with eggs. The pancakes are not too thin, and the dough in itself is flavorful. This café also got good reviews for their macaroni and cheese with tomatoes and bacon.
Service at this café is well-praised too. Staff are efficient in keeping the lines short and they are always friendly. Staff are commended for their attentiveness and warm hospitality.
The Corner Bread Café also seems to be more affordable. There were no reviews that mentioned anything about price. With hefty servings and usually split in two, diners cannot go wrong with $7.
Most cafes go cater to diners who are expecting a bit more. With Panera, issues like bad customer service might make them less popular, and customer satisfaction will begin to dwindle. Comments such as wilted salads and the staff not being able to deliver properly affect the diners’ confidence. Being in the fast-serving industry doesn’t give enough leverage for this café to sell below par bread.
Corner Bread seem to create multiple hits with their good customer relations and of course, good bread and sandwiches. This café seems to be more mindful of nutritional content as well as good customer service.
As far as cafes go, people expect more than the usual Subway shop. They of course are looking for more creativity and a lot more pleasant service. After all, there are more things expected if they are going to charge $9 for an Italian sub. Café should also look into expanding in more lines of food such as sweet breads and other desserts like pie or apple and cheese sandwiches.
Bread companies seem to have gone a long way, that’s for sure, but the challenge seem to be greater on them now, since the demand for freshly-baked bread is increasing too. Cafes are now into a higher realm of expectations, since they have been operating for some time now. Better salads, soups and pasta should be better, and not be in the same league as in McDonald’s, Burger King or Subway. There should be a higher level of output from them, since they are the sources of good bread, and keep it that way.