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.
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
- 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.
- Customers in a hurry must still stop at the brick-and-mortar location to pick up their order.
- Adopting technology may potentially isolate customers and sacrifice sense of community.
- Hand-Crafted Quality
- Brick-and-mortar locations struggle to show the food preparation process, making the fresh nature of the ingredients invisible to customers.
The brick-and-mortar channel alone is insufficient to bringing Panera's mission to fruition.
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.
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.
U.S. Population Age DISTRIBUTION
The following scenarios showcase how food trucks coupled with supporting digital channels could enhance the experience of Panera Bread's millennial user group.
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.
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.
- Use technology such as tablets to increase server mobility, enabling more frequent + personal 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.
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.
Anusha Radhakrishnan + Yu Xu