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Panera delivery, digital sales expand in 4Q

Digital accounts for 24% of sales at company-owned units

Panera Bread Co. continued to grow delivery and digital sales in the fourth quarter, the company said Tuesday.

In an earnings release for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 27, the St. Louis-based bakery-café operator reported that delivery is now available in 15 percent of units systemwide. Digital sales make up about 24 percent of sales at company-owned units.

"With peak investments and significant scale behind us, we are now focused on

completing the rollout of our initiatives and reaping the benefits,” said Ron Shaich, Panera CEO and chairman, in a statement. “Because of the strength of our initiatives, we are confident our efforts will translate into market share gains and sustainable double-digit earnings growth.” 

Panera’s fourth-quarter net income rose 2 percent, to $44 million, or $1.92 per share, from $43.2 million, or $1.74 per share, the previous year. Adjusted for one-time items, Panera earned $2.05 a share, compared with $1.88 a year ago. Revenue increased 5.1 percent, to $727.1 million, from $691.8 million the previous year.

Fourth-quarter same-store sales increased 0.7 percent systemwide. Same-store sales at company-owned units rose 3 percent, but fell 1.4 percent at franchised restaurants. 

The operator said Panera 2.0 upgrades were completed in nearly all of its company-owned locations.

“The power of our multi-year strategic plan and the impact of our initiatives to transform Panera into a better competitive alternative with expanded runways for growth becomes ever-more clear with each passing quarter,” Shaich said.

As of Dec. 27, Panera had 2,036 bakery-cafés in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada. Of those, 902 units were company owned and 1,134 locations were franchised.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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