Curbside Pickup Huge Issues
I don’t want to be angry or blame any employees, but my experience using the curbside pickup function in the app failed miserably. I put in a later online order of bagels, selecting only ones still in stock, and when I get there a few hours later they told me that they ran out of bagels that morning. If you ran out of bagels before I placed my order, why should the app let me order them?? And why didn’t anyone contact me to tell me my order can’t be fulfilled for hours? I waited for like 15-20 minutes outside and when I called the store the employees said they didn’t know what the label meant and that they ran out of bagels a long time ago before I placed the order. I got a refund, but i’m frustrated that this could even happen. I feel like there’s some disconnect with how the app ordering works and the poor employees who are just trying to work. I wanted to share my experience to ask that you guys work on this so that it can’t happen to other people—it took a lot of time out of my day. With everything happening during a pandemic, no contact orders are very important for health safety; especially when your workers are out there risking their lives just to help sell some bagels! Please be sure to review this and work on this problem; I probably won’t be returning anytime soon via the app out of frustration! I can’t and won’t risk going in all the time to order and exposing others and myself during this pandemic.
Good App but Can Be Buggy Sometimes
This app is probably one of my favorite food ordering apps to use. The reason I’m giving it 4 stars and not 5 is that I wanted to draw the developers’ attention to specific bug. I placed an order for curbside pickup with the app, switched to another app, went back to Panera and hit the “I’m Here” button on the order confirmation page. Found out later that no notification was sent to the store — I made sure it was the correct location. Then when I looked back at the app the order confirmation page was gone —since I clicked I’m here and was presumably done with it— but the “I’m Here” button was still present at the top of the main landing page of the app. My guess here is that the confirmation page had timed out with no error thrown, and still acted normally when I clicked the button on it; hence, no notification was sent to the store and it didn’t sync up with the rest of the app which still showed the same button at the top of the main page. I apologize for the excessively elaborate description, but I wanted to give a clear picture to the developers working on it.
Besides that the app has been great! :)
Great food, if only the service was so
I love their menu choices and the quality of their food. GREAT pastries, salads and sandwiches. Now if the management (not the store manager-the company management) would just get their act together and revise their application, interview, and hiring process, I bet they’d have MUCH better service. Most of the front workers don’t listen and are slow to help. My daughter, who is what I call smarter than the average bear, efficient and had food service experience, tried to apply for a job here right before she moved home from college. By the time the company got back to her two weeks had gone by. Then the interview was a week later. The second interview was two weeks after that. By that time she was five weeks into her summer and had another job! No wonder the company cannot good workers. They all get other jobs before the second interview and go elsewhere! Modernize and speed up the hiring process and hire service people who can serve your customers well. If it weren’t for your food and location I wouldn’t come back. If it weren’t for your poor service, I’d come back more often.
Major difference between online experience and in store experience
There’s a major disconnect between the experience in store and online with panera. In store you can customize your food however you want and you can use multiple rewards at the same time. Neither of these is a feature in the app or on the website. Want steak on the bbq flatbread instead of chicken? Can’t do it on the app, only roasted turkey is available to substitute. Want bacon on your Baja Mac and cheese? Can’t do it... they don’t have any customizable options for the Mac and cheeses... Have a dollar off a pick two and a dollar off a sandwich and a dollar off a soup you want to use? Sorry, can only do the dollar off the pick two. They won’t even let you use the dollar off a sandwich unless it’s not on a pick two! All of these things I can do in the store. There is no excuse for not being able to do these on the app or website. If they want to take away these options in store, ok I’ll accept that, as long as their customer experience is consistent between the store and online. Panera, aka Saint Louis Bread Co (as they should be calling themselves), is better than this and I’m extremely shocked at just how different these experiences are. I don’t know a single other restaurant or store that is so different like this.
I absolutely love the Rapid Order pickup option. As someone with a short lunch break, I have little time for standing in line then waiting for my order. As someone who hates making phone calls to place orders, the no-human-contact aspect is wonderful! However, I've had several issues with inaccuracies in my orders, and I wish there was a way to send an email about them as well. It seems counterintuitive to create an app for people who obviously dislike placing order phone calls but to require a call to fix issues. To date I've paid for several items I didn't receive, and frankly I'll give up on going to Panera before I start making complaint calls every other order.
Later update: I really wish they’d update the app to display the *closest* locations rather than the most frequent. Lunch is a busy time, and sending an order to a restaurant 50 miles away by accident is an expensive mistake I’ve made twice now. My fault, yes, but both times it was because I was in a hurry and the app defaulted to my last order location and I didn’t notice.
Fine app - if you get your food
I’d been using this app for a while, loving the rewards and simplicity of the rapid pickup. However, today the order was not there when I got there. It was busy, so okay. I waited a half hour, periodically checking on my poor dog who was stuck out in the car. Finally I went to talk with someone at the register, and they didn’t show any record of my order. The lady told me to keep waiting (for an order they didn’t have?!) and acted like I was just being impatient. No one would look at the order confirmation I had, there was no offer to remake it, not even an apology for the trouble. The staff completely blew me off, and I had to just leave. This is inexcusable customer service.
Update - I contacted Panera customer service and they did eventually refund, so I’ll add a star for that. The process to get that done was still a bit of a pain, though, and I’m reluctant to go back after such a terrible experience.
My suggestion - the cafe needs visibility to track the app orders, and if the cafe is busy, there needs to be a way for that to be factored into the pickup time. The app isn’t worth anything if you don’t get what was ordered!
Best food ordering app ever
The craze for restaurants nowadays seems to be ‘to go’ and ‘quick pickup’ apps. Many of them are so difficult to use, though, that you’re better off order in person and waiting the extra time. This is not the case for the Panera Bread app.
The user experience is perfectly optimized to order your food as efficiently as possible. I did not need to sign in with a Panera account and I didn’t need to give any information to continue as a guest. I was able to pay with Apple Pay and didn’t have to give my name or email.
I was able to customize my order, removing some ingredients and specifying extra or less of others. The Panera I was ordering from ran out of the bread for one of my sandwiches, but the app easily allowed me to pick a different bread and order the sandwich.
I was incredibly impressed by the ease of use of this app. Using it was easily the best part of my day.
Continuous Improvement Project: 1) Allow order ahead for Drive Thru
Allowing ordering ahead with the pickup location being drive thru would help optimize drive thru throughout, increase availability of order and pickup options, and increase customer satisfaction. I was in a unique position of not being able to leave my car due to a sleeping baby. I also had a gift card that was loaded on the Panera App. Because the Panera App lacks the ability to make a gift card payment from the app either inside or in the drive thru (another Continuous Improvement idea), I order the Rapid Pickup option, but then went into the Drive Thru to pickup. This both confused and bothered the employee, but thankfully his critical thinking skills allowed him to move his arms and legs to pickup up the sandwich from one section of the prep area to another. Fix this easy problem by allowing drive thru pickup as an online order option. It’s easy, is barely a couple line software update and a 30 standup meeting in the stores. The ROI is much higher then the LOE involved.
The Rocklin Store
By Nana and Papa to 6
We go to this store at least once a week. We always order the Fuji Apple salad. The last 2 months the new people making the salads have consistently skimped on the apples. It is our favorite part of the salad so we notice. Once I asked for more (since I only saw one apple chip on my salad) and she gave me dressing. I explained I needed more apples, not more dressing and she sighed and asked another EE to retrieve some from the back. Apparently she ran out and instead of getting some, she just shorted us. If it were an isolated event, I wouldn’t be spending all this time typing. This has happened several times in the past 8 weeks or so. If it isn’t the apple chips, it is the wrong size bowl of soup, no bread or a grilled cheese sandwich that wasn’t grilled. Please get it together Rocklin Panera-we don’t want to change stores.
Decent app, but needs work to be great
This app is a big step in the right direction, but I'm honestly surprised by all the super positive reviews for it. Yes, it works for the most part, but it's far from ideal. Note: I frequently use it for Rapid Pick-up orders, on an iPhone 7. It's cumbersome to peruse the lengthy menu. Search functionality would be helpful here. The "favorites" feature is helpful but not well-designed. You must click backward while placing an order to access your favorites, making it seem like you're exiting the order . Whose idea was that? Not a customer's, I suspect. Also, the app's connectivity is glitchy in ways that other on-the-go ordering apps aren't. It locks up frequently for no apparent reason, sometimes when switching from WiFi to cellular connection. But not always. In short, the app works and is far better than nothing. And the item customization options are very handy. But it's nothing stellar or even consistently smooth.