Panera Bread expands area development agreements with five franchise groups.

Panera Bread today announced additional area development agreements with several of its franchisees. The announcements, which represent commitments for a total of 33 new bakery-cafes, signify 2nd and 3rd generation expansions of development territories.

“One of the core strengths of Panera Bread is the extraordinary commitment of our franchise community,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Franchise Officer Mike Kupstas. “It is exciting to have multiple franchise partners recommitting to further expansion and deeper penetration beyond their original agreements and the company’s expectations.”

Since the company’s founding in 1987, the Panera Bread franchise community has been instrumental to the company’s growth as an industry leader.

Panera Bread owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names. The company is the leader in the emerging specialty bread/cafe category due to its unique bread combined with a quick, casual dining experience. As released in the April 25, 2006 earnings statement, Panera Bread operates 897 bakery-cafes (319 company-owned and 578 franchised).

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