Panera Bread is integrating with Google to make it easier to order from the bakery-cafe chain.
The new feature announced Tuesday will appear on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Assistant. When a customer searches for “Panera near me” in Google Search, for instance, they’ll see nearby Panera locations and an “Order” button that leads to Panera’s menu. The customer can then order and pay using Google Pay.
The move should give the chain more access to customers who are increasingly ordering via digital channels, a trend that has only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our guests are looking to us to provide easy, contactless ways to order their next meal from Panera," said George Hanson, chief digital officer for Panera, in a statement. "As a tech-forward brand, we are committed to growing our digital presence and off-premise channels. By teaming up with Google and integrating with their Search, Maps and Assistant platforms, there are now even more seamless, simple ways to order your Panera favorites for curbside pickup and delivery."
Google quietly launched a food delivery marketplace last May. Similar to a third-party delivery app, it shows restaurant delivery and pickup options in the area and allows users to filter them by cuisine, price and popularity. Google account holders can then order and pay within Google, and delivery is handled by third-party services such as DoorDash or Postmates.
The Panera integration puts the ordering option front and center when someone searches for the chain, making the process that much easier.
"As consumer behavior continues to shift towards digital ordering, our team is focused on building ways to make online ordering quick and accessible for restaurants. Panera is an industry-leading restaurant brand and we're excited that we're unlocking a new way for people to order their favorite Panera meals directly on Google," said Anantica Singh, senior product manager at Google, in a statement.
St. Louis-based Panera has more than 2,000 units across 48 states. The Google integration is available at participating locations.