Tomahawk, WI 05/01/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Mobile-based technology is an essential component in a new recipe that Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) is coming up with to improve its customer service and change the fortunes of its declining sales figures, which had been the result of service holdups. The fast food dining chain has invested $42 million in technology-related upgrades that would allow guests to order their food online or through their mobile devices and iPads.

A More Streamlined Ordering Experience

This move is geared towards disrupting Panera’s existing customer experience which normally involves going to one aisle food, to another for beverages and then waiting in the “mosh pit” — anuninvitingtitle Panera has given to the location where customers come to pick up their food.

Blaine Hurst’s executive VP of Technology stated that Panera is in the process of installing kiosks, from which patrons could place orders via an iPad – a move initiated in order to get rid of that nuisance of standing in lines and nip the problem of impatient customers walking out. Rather than having to stand in the “mosh pit”, patrons can get a hold of a digital table locator and type out its code into an iPad, which would tell Panera employees where to deliver food directly. Alternatively, they may also place orders from their iPhones, through the Panera mobile app, which would execute the same function. Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) is also starting off a web-based service where customers could order food online for pick up later on.

Working On Its Sales Figures

The company aspires to boost sales figures as well, by encouraging repeat customers and preventing potential customers from leaving the restaurant before placing an order. Sales at existing Panera restaurants went up by 2.3% in 2013, in comparison to a mere 5.7% increase back in 2012. They also statedthat they have digitally measured a decrease in transactions from the 15 million members of its loyalty program, who often tend to be repeat customers and that their management has noticed that diners walked out because employees were too occupied to tend to their orders.

As of today, seventeen Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) outlets in Charlotte and Boston feature these upgrades and Panera expects them to be added to the rest of the company’s 1,800 restaurants within the next few years.

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