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Omnichannel Experience

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The objective was to design a seamless and personalized experience across multiple channels for the customers of the Panera Bread restaurant chain. My team's solution goes "beyond the screen" to bring an immersive Panera experience to customers regardless of their location. This week-long design challenge was presented by SapientNitro - a digital agency which handles the Panera Bread account. Our design received first prize in SapientNitro's design challenge.


 

Research

We began our process by reviewing Panera's mission and pinpointing aspects of the current Panera experience that are counterproductive to it.

Panera's Mission + Current Roadblocks

  1. Customization
    • Customers expect Panera brick-and-mortar restaurants to offer a standardized menu, which inhibits Panera from customizing its menu and environment to local tastes and cultures.
  2. Convenience
    • Customers in a hurry must still stop at the brick-and-mortar location to pick up their order.
  3. Community
    • Adopting technology may potentially isolate customers and sacrifice sense of community.
  4. Hand-Crafted Quality
    • Brick-and-mortar locations struggle to show the food preparation process, making the fresh nature of the ingredients invisible to customers.

Insight

The brick-and-mortar channel alone is insufficient to bringing Panera's mission to fruition. 

 

Design Core

 

Use food trucks and supporting digital channels to bring Panera's mission to fruition, which entails convenient, communal, handcrafted experiences that are customized to local tastes + cultures.

 

CONCEPT

 
 

USER GROUP

Although the framework of the food truck concept (above) is meant to remain constant regardless of the user group, the items and services housed within the framework would vary based on the user group served by the food truck in question. For this specific exploration, we chose a user group that is highly significant to Panera Bread, to illustrate the maximum benefit this concept could potentially bring to the company. After triangulating data from both business reviews and social media, we found millennials - more specifically college students - to be a significant user group driving Panera Bread's current and future success.


[Millennials] represent a quarter of the U.S. population, hold $1.3 trillion in spending power and … will be an important driver of success for restaurant brands like Panera Bread…
— forbes.com

 

U.S. Population Age DISTRIBUTION

 Twitter

 
                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

 

SCENARIOS

The following scenarios showcase how food trucks coupled with supporting digital channels could enhance the experience of Panera Bread's millennial user group.

Part i

    Sasha, a senior at   UCLA, has set up camp in the library to prepare for finals. During a break  , Sasha checks   her    social media    and sees   an   ad that notifies her of   the     Panera Campus Food Truck and its proximity to her. Hungry, she decides to give it a try.

 

Sasha, a senior at UCLA, has set up camp in the library to prepare for finals. During a break, Sasha checks her social media and sees an ad that notifies her of the Panera Campus Food Truck and its proximity to her. Hungry, she decides to give it a try.

    The truck is only a  short walk  away. Sasha enjoys the opportunity to breath in some  fresh air  and stretch her legs. As she draws closer, she is surprised to hear music playing and see students lounging on blankets, while enjoying Panera delicacies. 

 

The truck is only a short walk away. Sasha enjoys the opportunity to breath in some fresh air and stretch her legs. As she draws closer, she is surprised to hear music playing and see students lounging on blankets, while enjoying Panera delicacies. 

 
Sasha gets in line to order. She notices a couple of new items on the Panera menu, such as a    vegan    chickpea panini +   gluten-free   mac n’ cheese. She is loving the  variety + local ingredients .   It’s her turn to order + she is greeted by a host with a  tablet.    She recognizes that the host also happens to be a    classmate    of hers. They    chat    + catch up while her order and payment are processed.

Sasha gets in line to order. She notices a couple of new items on the Panera menu, such as a vegan chickpea panini + gluten-free mac n’ cheese. She is loving the variety + local ingredients. It’s her turn to order + she is greeted by a host with a tablet. She recognizes that the host also happens to be a classmate of hers. They chat + catch up while her order and payment are processed.

 
While waiting for her food, Sasha borrows a blanket and a book from the  Community Share Nook    and realizes that this is the first time all week that she has felt so  relaxed.    Occasionally, she peers up at the chef to watch as he prepares her food. Even though she is far away from home, she feels like she is being served a  home-cooked meal.

While waiting for her food, Sasha borrows a blanket and a book from the Community Share Nook and realizes that this is the first time all week that she has felt so relaxed. Occasionally, she peers up at the chef to watch as he prepares her food. Even though she is far away from home, she feels like she is being served a home-cooked meal.

 
Upon receiving her food, Sasha notices a message on the packaging that Panera Campus Food Truck has a    mobile app    that would let   her  order ahead of time .   She scans the QR code + downloads the app.

Upon receiving her food, Sasha notices a message on the packaging that Panera Campus Food Truck has a mobile app that would let her order ahead of time. She scans the QR code + downloads the app.

 
    Comfortable with a blanket + book, Sasha decides to enjoy her meal by the food truck. The host comes by and asks Sasha if she would like a  coffee     refill . Sasha   graciously accepts, as she has a long day of studying still ahead.

 

Comfortable with a blanket + book, Sasha decides to enjoy her meal by the food truck. The host comes by and asks Sasha if she would like a coffee refill. Sasha graciously accepts, as she has a long day of studying still ahead.

    While enjoying her meal, Sasha checks out the Panera app and notices that she can use it to upload her favorite   tunes   to the truck’s music queue. When her song begins to play, she notices that others are enjoying it too.  Conversations ensue!

 

While enjoying her meal, Sasha checks out the Panera app and notices that she can use it to upload her favorite tunes to the truck’s music queue. When her song begins to play, she notices that others are enjoying it too. Conversations ensue!

 

PART II

It’s a nice Saturday afternoon. Sasha is out playing Frisbee with friends when her phone vibrates!

It’s a nice Saturday afternoon. Sasha is out playing Frisbee with friends when her phone vibrates!

 

She has received a notification from Panera! Apparently the Panera Campus Food Truck is nearby. She doesn’t want to leave her game, but she’s quite hungry. So, she clicks on the ‘Order Now’ button to order food for pickup.  

To place an order: she browses through the menu + selects the dishes she craves. The following screen communicates how long she will have to wait for her order and indicates that she’ll get a notification when her food is ready.

 
story 10.jpg

Sasha happily returns to her game of frisbee. She’s looking forward to getting a notification when her Panera meal is ready for pickup.

When her food is ready, Sasha receives both a notification as well as directions.

 

Part iii

    It's a lazy Sunday and Sasha is lounging on her couch with her laptop. While perusing through her emails, she notices that a new message from Panera has landed in her inbox. 

 

It's a lazy Sunday and Sasha is lounging on her couch with her laptop. While perusing through her emails, she notices that a new message from Panera has landed in her inbox. 

    Panera noticed that she recently tried some new items on the menu and wants her feedback. She can also vote on what dishes she would like to see on the menu in the future. 

 

Panera noticed that she recently tried some new items on the menu and wants her feedback. She can also vote on what dishes she would like to see on the menu in the future. 

 

Key Takeaways

  • Use technology such as tablets to increase server mobility, enabling more frequentpersonal interactions with customers.
  • Transparency in the food preparation process allows customers to see the fresh + hand-crafted nature of Panera meals.

  • A “Share Nook” fosters sense of community among Panera customers + positions Panera as a part of that community.

  • By giving customers the chance to participate in enriching activities, Panera demonstrates an extended value to customers.

  • If customers are pressed for time, picking up food from the food truck is more convenient than visiting a brick + mortar location.

  • Polling customers about menu items, not only helps Panera understand the likes + dislikes of submarkets, but also empowers customers by showing them that their opinions matter + can dictate the outcome of future menus.

 

my contribution

I collaborated with my teammates on research, ideation and concept refinement. Individually, I created the diagrams and storyboard illustrations seen above. The wireframes were created by team member Yu Xu. 

 

team

Anusha Radhakrishnan + Yu Xu

 

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