Panera on making your technology easy, frictionless and relevant

Panera Bread has quickly positioned alone as one particular of the premiere engineering leaders in the cafe industry, groundbreaking such systems as geofencing for cellular pickup orders, espresso-brewing robots and the newest contactless dine-in functions. But the bakery-café chain is quite thorough with what technologies it introduces: it has to be effortless, frictionless, and appropriate to guests, Panera senior vice president, main electronic officer George Hanson stated on Wednesday throughout the Develop digital deep dive session, “New Frontiers in Cafe Tech.”  

“We’re regularly pondering about how we can boost relevance and ease for our attendees as opposed to getting enamored of personalization technology for its personal sake,” Hanson stated.

Keeping away from “technology for technology’s sake” is the mantra that has carried Panera in the course of the pandemic and outside of. Irrespective of whether they are updating the Panera loyalty application with personalization abilities or introducing a cellular pickup lane to the travel-through, Hanson claimed they are always striving to concentrate on simplicity and pleasure of practical experience.  A very good benchmark he explained, is to be positive that even Hanson’s 70-12 months-previous mom could place an get via any of the Panera omnichannel choices with ease and comfort.

“Optionality is seriously about knowing how the friends want to access us and making these accessibility points effortless and frictionless,” Hanson said. “You have to consider about the total journey, from pre-order and post-buy. […] We embrace whole transparency and producing absolutely sure that post-purchase expertise is there to assistance if we get some thing completely wrong.”

This is why he stated it’s crucial to self-audit and be straightforward with your self if a piece of technology is too puzzling for day-to-day buyer use or is just not relevant to buyer requirements.

Panera’s body of mind also extends to tweaking its technological know-how to in good shape client requirements, from greater rollouts like the geofencing technology or cellular pickup lanes, to lesser increase-ons like individualized suggestions for loyalty application members so people can uncover their favored menu products very easily.

“We want to empower the visitors to self-immediate their working experience,” Hanson stated.

This approach of self-path can be noticed throughout the Panera technology stack, from being ready to pick out their possess loyalty benefits to seamlessly shifting from one particular Panera practical experience to a further with out confusion. Possibly a single working day they’ll want to quickly select up their cellular buy for supper with the little ones, and a different working day they could want to maintain a conference in-store at Panera. One of the essential elements of completing the brand’s omnichannel working experience, Hanson reported, was generating the self-immediate in-retailer ordering technological know-how, which lets clients to use cell know-how to position and receive their get in-retail store, with out possessing to go up to the counter to fork out or test on the standing of their food.

“We feel about omnichannel accessibility as increasing access to let the visitor determine how they want to access us,” he mentioned. “We experienced initially turned all of our notice to off-premises engineering, but we understood that men and women ended up commencing to crave that in-man or woman, dine-in encounter […] We took the finest of that technology and introduced it in-retailer. Now, they never have to stand in line or touch a paper receipt or pager.”

The ultimate piece of the puzzle, Hanson said, is to make confident that no matter what variety of technological innovation the company adds to its repertoire, that Panera never ever loses its perception of heat client provider. In truth, particular technologies can even make it simpler for that to manifest. The latest espresso-brewing robot, which was produced and rolled out in partnership with Miso Robotics, is a testomony to allowing AI totally free up some menial duties (like checking the temperature of espresso), so staff can interact additional with company.  

“This [Miso Robotics coffee] technologies actually lets us to include far more of that Panera heat and contact,” Hanson claimed.

Marcy Willis

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