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Panera to debut breakfast sandwiches

RICHMOND HEIGHTS Mo. Panera Bread Co. plans to roll out three breakfast sandwiches during the last week of March to give its morning business a boost, a spokesman for the fast-casual chain said.

All three of the new breakfast sandwiches will feature ciabatta bread, fresh eggs steamed to order and natural Vermont cheddar cheese. One version also will have applewood-smoked bacon and another will have pork sausage. Prices will start at $2.99.

“It’s a natural extension of our concept,” said spokesman Andrew Carlson, who noted the chain already serves prepared baked egg souffles. “There is great interest in a hot breakfast. People wanted more options, and it leverages our fresh bread.”

Panera, with about 1,170 franchised and company-owned bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. brands, recently discontinued its Crispani flat-bread pizza, which it had introduced in hopes of expanding its dinner business.

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