Read articles on how to do ethnographyImmerse ourselves into the To engage, Lived the lifestyleTalked to staff,Greg Godfrey, Joint Venture Area Director, Boston, Atlanta and other GMsMarket research-people come to panera because of people, food, and place1st time food2nd cultivate a friendly staffWe people that on placeWhat does place mean, and how Panera can build this sense of community
Market research-people come to panera because of people, food, and place1st time try the food2nd cultivate a friendly staffWe found the most opportunity to build communityWhy existing communities come here, communities are formedFacilitates communitiesNew sense place that Dane is going to talk to you about. Shapes our recommendations on how panera can leverage what it means, frames our recommendations
Quality staff and customer service is a core competency of Panera (Cultural Value #1: “Relationships based on Honesty & Respect”) Ex: Erin in Hingham knows everyone’s name and some “life stories”, will eat with customers when on break Hiring local residents helps enhance the current sense of community at locations, will help in drawing in new community members as well through networking Don’t get too far ahead with technology – do not want to eliminate face-to-face interactions Continued superior customer service = continued customer loyalty
Panera can have communities outside of the stores themselves Partnership with MeetUp.com: add integrated ability to order online at a MeetUp member discount when organizing events Better-focused catering can help increase repeat purchases among outside groups (Panera’s goal: “Increase awareness of catering w/ high potential users”) Crowd-sourcing further community development from MeetUp groups – develop relationships to increase subsequent in-store traffic (art contests, etc)MeetUp group leaders can easily become new EFIs (motivated, passionate), improve WOM advocacy
“They have a lot of Paneras in the Midwest. Now there’s so many – it feels more like a chain restaurant. It used to be original.” – Young Nursing Student
Ethnographic Study of Panera Communities Dane Aloe, Elliot DeRemer, Marisa Greenwald, Angela Lee, James Newton, Carl Uttaro, Joanna Vanden May 5, 2011
" Sense Of Place In today’s world we’re always leaving one place. . . “The library is too quiet” – bible study group “I can’t get anything done at home. There are too many distractions.” – nursing student & mother . . . . only to go some place else. “I don’t want to be at home, but I can’t go to school. I’ll be at Panera” – BU student
Sense Of Place Conceived of as the third place, Starbucks risks losing this sense of community among consumers. “Starbucks is more on the go” “Starbucks is out of my league. I don’t enjoy it there as much. People are so busy there. When I go somewhere I want to be able to relax.” “I find Starbucks intimidating. I honestly don’t know how to order a drink there.”
Sense Of Place Circle Of Warmth Panera Bread is positioned to fill this loss of place with its motif: “Circle of Warmth” warmth “I love the warm colors” “The staff are so nice and friendly” clues: color pallet, fireplace intimacy “It’s part of my day, everyone knows my schedule.” “We’re just taking care of our neighbors.” clues: private smart rooms, booths comfort “It’s like my second home.” “I know I can just sit here for hours and no one bothers me.” clues: cushion chairs, large tables Group Users
Repeated Associations To Panera Were Identified During Field Studies Primary research revealed certain descriptive terms reiterated among Panera customers Family What’s working… Healthy 2nd Home Salad GMs Fresh Welcome Chain Ron Universal Iced Tea Cookies Friendly Coffee Modern Bakery Personal Touch Cafe Conversation Refills Bread No Pressure No Parking Consistency Accommodating Consistency Pick 2 Warm Inexpensive Wall Colors Cluttered Warm Laptops No Pressure Ambiance Convenient Quiet Chaotic Neighborhood Rush Hour Stress Free …and what’s not
Recommendation – Balance Demand, Maintain Circle of Warmth Recommendations Do:
Regular floor surveys
Increase visual attractiveness and free up seating capacity with coat tree and cubbies
Reduce stress and add personal touch during rushes with place card table reservations
Overload tables to increase capacity
Recommendation – Mitigate Negative Associations of a “chain” Solutions
Showcase and support local artists
Each store should have a unique design, while maintaining Circle of Warmth
The Panera Community Acts Like a “Pool” The shared activity, goal, or values are the key to this community affiliation Shared activity, goals or ideals Ties reinforced by experiences in pool together
The Power User - Susan “Empowered feminist,” attended Smith College Enjoys giving advice on balancing career & family Consultant, works wherever cell & internet service Lived in Wellesley, now in Medfield to save money Married with three kids at local private schools Both she and husband have always worked Focuses on maintaining physique Why does she come here/why did she come today? She routinely drops her daughter off at Newton Country Day, goes swimming at nearby YMCA and then arrives at also close by Newton Center Panera to do work, enjoy meal, and conduct any necessary phone meetings.
Why Panera for Susan? At Needham location, she calls ahead and once they know it’s her, they confirm she wants an “egg white power sandwich” and have it ready when she arrives. Qualities she loves: Efficiency, food quality, consistency, locations, feel, vibe, lighting Knowing she can walk into any Panera, have enjoyable, satisfying meal Starbucks is “all about coffee drinkers”; she’s not a coffee drinker. Does not care for food, finds atmosphere “dark, dingy.” “Panera has earned a real café status.” She came for the iced tea and stayed for everything else.
Susan’s Meaning Map Convenience Family Being Fit Prepared for Life Comfort Empowering Responsible Consistency Multitasking Self-sufficiency Accomplishments Commitment to work Commitment to family Personalization Feminist Success Responsibly Indulgent Independence Being Healthy Balanced Role Model
Susan’s Panera Love Affair There was a week where Susan was trying to sign The Hartford in Connecticut and was staying near the company offices to be available should they need more information. She assumed on Monday that they’d sign by the end of the day but they kept having hesitations. She had to stay another night but hated her hotel so she moved, and then ended up having to stay two more nights while working on Powerpoints and Memos to convince the firm to sign off on her services. During this week of stress and uncertainty, she said the only predictable element in her life was the Panera. She drove around Connecticut to various Panera locations because she knew she could count on enjoying the food and having a guaranteed healthy offering each night amidst the professional turmoil and time away from her family.
Jim was VP development of Quincy Market – helped get Au Bon Pain into the market. This is where he met Ron Shaich
One time called the Panera question line written on the menu and Ron actually answered the phone himself. His question was about getting a coat rack in the bathroom at a Panera. The next day there was one installed.
They go to Panera for the choice of affordable food that is great for people of all ages (i.e. they can go there with their grandkids and can always find something for them to eat). They feel it is restaurant quality stuff but never feel rushed to order to leave.
When they travel down the coast to Florida to see their grandchildren they stop at Panera’s along the way. When they go to each of these Panera’s the managers always chat with them and are always smiling (they particularly like Erin – who was in Plymouth before). Also the stores are always clean
The location is close things they have to do anyway (i.e. Physical therapy office and the movie theatre)
When they pull into Panera, the staff sees them and starts making their mango smoothies – this service they really like
Consumer Profiles Elly (Hingham, MA)
Gets a latte every day before her workout
Was going to Starbucks before but thought the coffee was too strong and too expensive. Also thought the atmosphere at s-bucks was cold and there was pressure to sit down or move out quickly
Most important reason to come back each time is because of the staff – particularly Erin. If the timing is right and Erin is on break, then they will spend the break time together talking.
Freshness of food is also a factor for returning
Goes to the one in North Quincy as well with her “Friday Lunch Crew” and even though she goes there less, they also know her name and order
Hires the catering service when she is responsible for doing this at the office
When she travels and visits Panera, they all have the same consistent feel, “like home”
“It is part of my day, honestly. They know my schedule”
Likes the seasonality of the menu – how it changes
Likes how you can give feedback online or over the phone
Loves getting emails about her loyalty status.
Marjorie and Beth (Swampscott, MA)
Marjorie and Beth are close friends, both married and both in their mid-70s
Marjorie is from Colorado but was here to help take care of her grandkids while they were young
Marjorie was on her laptop while Beth, her friend, was sitting next to her reading a book.
Marjorie moved to Boston to take care of her grandchildren while her step daughter and her step daughter’s husband worked. She and her husband took the kids to pre-school and pick them up on most days. In between, they would come to Panera where they would bring their bills, paperwork, reading materials and computers to surf the Internet while enjoying food and drink there.
Marjorie says: "We come here for sanity." "This place is comfortable, like a second home, but without my having to do the cooking."
Marjorie has been taking part in this routine since 1998 where she brings her errands, bills, mail, etc. to Panera during those in between morning hours.
She finds people at Panera extremely friendly, both the employees and the other customers, which is one of the main drivers in her continued loyalty.
She has been chatting with others and making friends at Panera since 1998. "Starbucks is geared towards younger people," She says. "Panera caters to everyone." "The food is good, even great, and the prices are good too." She mentioned that she would recommended Panera to anyone and is a highly loyal customer.
Acupuncturist there for a meeting with two other people to start an acupuncture program in Uganda. He said he comes to Panera to do work because he doesn’t want to sit in his home office. He also said, “I wonder. . . all of us come here to do work, but how much work is really getting done?. . . . I come here because it’s convenient.” Well, why not Starbucks? “Starbucks is too small. Size makes a big difference.” Elderly, handicapped veteran said to the GM when asked how he was, "It's just a nice, comfortable feeling. . . ." He had been sitting in one of the arm chairs, drinking coffee and reading the paper. He wore a baseball cap with the American flag and bald eagle on it. Faye, grandmother from Johannesburg, but residing in Phoenix. She was visiting family in Boston and having a snack with her two year old grandson. Her daughter has MBA from University of Chicago and lives in Beijing. “My daughter was telling me about this event they did at Whole Foods. They were brining in moms, they were there to listen to some talk about nutrition, but they were also there to socialize, and then obviously to purchase. This was the Lincoln Park Whole Foods in Chicago. It’s amazing. Their layout of tables is really something. They even have long tables there. I think it’s called “The Community Table.” Whole Foods is so community focused.” “You know Starbucks is different in China than it is here. The expats go there and hang out for hours. They have long business meetings there. I think the store really depends on the location and the population that frequents it.” Consumer Profiles
Young woman, early 20s. Dressed slightly alternatively. Sitting in front of a computer: “I try to get out of the house. I get more stuff done if I’m in a public setting. Otherwise I get distracted if I’m at home, or I just stay in bed.” “I come to Panera because it’s close, the food, the people – they’re regularly friendly. Why not Starbucks? Well, here the Wi-Fi is free, it’s more a restaurant setting. I’m in a social setting, but I kind of have privacy. I can sit back here, have my feet up on the chair. . .its more relaxing. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. . they’re on the go.” “I actually work with that other girl you were talking to. We both work at the elementary school nearby. We have school meetings here because it’s close. We can have food or coffee. It’s a central spot. We’re not distracted by the kids.” “For food? There’s a lot to choose from. I’m here in this area everyday. Two of the staff people at least recognize me. That’s nice.” “ I guess a lot of stay at home moms come in after or before dropping their kids off at school. Lots of kids probably come in after practice. I teach the after-care program. Parents come in here if they need to get stuff done.” “I’m from Connecticut but I went to school in Vermont. Everything there is small and local. That’s probably why I like it here. . it feels small and local. 16 year old girl and 18 year old boy “We just come here after school. I just like the feel of it.” Boy: “It feels modern. It’s not just a restaurant. It’s a place to hang out. We saw two of our friends over there. Everybody comes here. Even if they didn’t we’d still come here just to eat though.” girl: “pasta parties are held there for soccer. The whole team always chooses to go to Panera. The pumpkin muffies are my favorite. We don’t have time to study here. I don’t have time to take the trip to come here to study. I’m busy with sports.” Consumer Profiles
23 & 27 year old female nursing students, there studying psychology “I’ve been here a couple of times to study. Some of my friends come here 3 or 4 x week. I also go to Hingham. I like to study where you can eat. In a library you can’t eat. You can’t talk. Here you can talk things out.” “I feel like it’s a little nook back here. Like I can talk about things that might be uncomfortable to talk about in public, we’re nursing students you know.” “My house is a mess. I get distracted by other things. My friends think of it as a place to get away from the kids. You can just sit down, and talk about things and just relax.” “I just like the environment. I can grab a booth and spread out all your stuff. People don’t come over here and talk to you, like a waitress in a restaurant would. I’m a waitress too. You’re not taking up someone’s table at Panera.” “I find Starbucks intimidating because I never know how to order to be quite honest. I do feel Starbucks is a comfy place, and I’ve gone there to hang out with friends. There are homeless people at Dunkin Donuts. I wouldn’t hang out there.” “I study here because it’s bigger – there’s more room. I like to eat and study and there’s more selection. “They have a lot of Paneras in the Midwest. Now there’s so many – it feels more like a chain restaurant. It used to be original.” “I like the way they have it set up. The fireplace and the long table. That’s a great place, a great idea to have a huge table like that. I’ve seen big groups use it. I feel like you’re more likely to get together with a big group here than at Starbucks.” Consumer Profiles
31 & 43 year old female nursing students “I come here to get away from my family. It’s more quiet here than at home. It’s better here than in the library. You can drinking something and hot have to hide it. There’s internet access. Panera is closer to home than Starbucks is. Starbucks is very small, Panera has a bigger variety. I think the prices are better too.” “My number one reason for going to a Panera is to study.” Two Latina au pairs, early 20s “I like the colors. Warm, comfortable. It’s healthy. We like the salads. We always get the same salad – the apple one. I think maybe I should try a new one, but we always get the same thing. The staff is so nice. One time, I did try a new salad that didn’t come with the apples, but I wanted them, so I asked the lady and she said, oh sure, of course, we’ll them on there.” “I really like it when they come around at the end of the day and give you something. . . .like toast, to eat. . . yeah they give it to everyone. . .” They are from Columbia but are living in Marblehead. They are in a one-year au pair service program. They take care of children in Marblehead. They are really looking forward to summer. They remarked how nice of a day it was outside. The au pair service sometimes has meetings at Panera – they’re basically social outings. The service coordinator is the one that chooses the activities and she likes Panera because it’s affordable, she likes the food, and she can use the community room in Swampscott. Consumer Profiles
Marion – self employed nurse, in her sixties “The colors are nice. I love their coffee. I drink a lot of it. I’m a nurse. BU is my alma mater. I’m on the BU Alumni Admissions committee. Marisa – “you look great”, oh thanks – it’s because I eat here. I think everyone should care about the salt and the fats they eat. I think it’s healthy here. I used to do obstetrics. I’m a professor on the North Shore – I’m self-employed. Sometimes I come here to have meetings with colleagues. I’m on the Cemetery Committee. They’re community friendly here. I also volunteer as a nurse for prostrate cancer survivors. . I’m part of the official support system. One time Panera let me place a table in the meeting room and I set up all my literature stuff and I was told it was ok if I approached all the customers to let them know that I was back there and they could come chat with me if they needed some information. You know people don’t want to talk about [prostrate cancer].” “Do you know Jesus? He was great. I guess he went to another store.” “We had dinner here on Friday night. I had soup and a half-sandwich, I got a $1 off my cup of coffee.” “I like it here because it’s convenient. I’m so busy all the time. It’s right here in town. I can eat and get out. I know a lot of people here too. It’s a friendly place. They work with the customer. They give you what you want. I think the food on the whole is healthy. I eat within reason. I like to meet here because it’s convenient. They’ve been very nice to us.” “Starbucks is out of my league. I don’t enjoy it there as much. People are there doing their work. They’re busy. When I go in, I want to relax. It’s a different crowd over there. The crowd here? They’re regulars. There’s the work thing here too, but it’s not as heavy as at Starbucks. You see the same faces. They come here for a purpose. It’s nice to meet people. It’s nice meeting you right now. That’s what life is all about..” Consumer Profiles
Two male students, early 20s, bible study “It has that coffeeshop vibe. I always go to coffeeshops to get my work done. It’s like, you know that your surrounded by academically, like-minded people. It’s like a mantra. And you get your coffee and you can just focus. I don’t go to the library, I can’t work there. Panera, well, it’s not distracting, but it’s also just distracting enough.” “I think you look around, and it seems chaotic. But that almost forces you to go inward and to focus on whatever it is you’re doing.” Consumer Profiles