What is in this article?:
- Panera to roll out pasta systemwide
- New initiatives, new CFO
The new platform is one of many culinary initiatives planned for bakery-café chain.
New initiatives, new CFO
“We have a number of initiatives out there to leverage the customer experience and drive competitive advantage,” Shaich said. “It begins with some very exciting food initiatives this year. It follows with a range of marketing initiatives, including loyalty. And it gets intensified around our efforts at catering.”
The Panera loyalty program now has 13 million members and has aspects that “allow us to market to you in a very individual way,” Shaich said, citing the possibility of a sandwich reward for a regular breakfast customer or a sandwich to a regular lunch customer.
Catering efforts will be increased this year as well, the executives said, with more sales managers being hired and a new online ordering website. Panera’s catering grew to about 20 percent in 2012, said William Moreton, the company’s president and co-chief executive, and it made up 7.7 percent of sales for the year. Shaich added that is was “essentially non-cannibalizing of growth.”
Moreton also announced the hiring of Roger C. Matthews Jr., as Panera's chief financial officer, effective March 18. “Ron and I have known Roger for more than 15 years,” Moreton said. The CFO position had been filled by Pat Kelly on an interim basis since April 2012.
Matthews most recently served as managing director and sector head of the U.S. restaurant industry division of the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment-banking firm.
For the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 25, Panera posted profit of $51.6 million, or $1.75 a share, rising from $38.6 million, or $1.31 a share, in the prior year. The year-earlier period included a one-time pre-tax charge of $5 million. Revenue grew 15 percent to $571.5 million.
Panera Bread owns and franchises units in 44 states and Ontario, Canada. It operates under the names Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co., and Paradise Bakery & Café.
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