Panera adds geofencing to curbside pickup

The technology enables the store to know when a customer has arrived to pick up an order.
Panera Bread Co.
Photos courtesy of Panera

Panera Bread is amping up its curbside pickup service, rolling out geofencing technology that alerts the store when a customer pulls up, the company announced Monday.

Under the new Panera Curbside service, customers place an order from the chain’s app or website. They list the make, model and color of their car under “special instructions.” For those who opt in to the geocaching service, a Panera employee will run the order out once the car arrives.

Those who don’t opt in can tap “I’m here” on the app once they arrive for pickup.

The St. Louis-based fast casual is incentivizing the new service by offering $5 off any $20 order through the end of the month.

“In the new world as it emerges, we are focused on how we can best serve our customers and meet them where they are,” Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary said in a statement.

Amid the pandemic, many operators are looking to add efficiencies to curbside pickup as consumers increasingly seek out contactless transactions.

Digital sales are currently responsible for 65% of Panera’s revenues, according to the company.

Select units are being reopened as to-go-only stores, with installation of plexiglass barriers and social-distancing signage, and masks and thermometers available for all employees.

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