When you’re gleefully chowing down on a Bacon Turkey Bravo, do you ever pause to consider the lives of the Panera workers who brought you this delicious lunch? Well, we did, because we’re so great. And because this is the internet, it wasn’t hard to find the answer.
Just yesterday (as of this writing), two ex-employees sat down to talk about their experiences shoveling bread bowls at everyone’s favorite fast-casual spot with Refinery 29. Their responses were fascinating, so we kept digging until we found the online places where current Panera staff go to talk trash.
Here are the most illuminating facts we learned from all these Panera insiders:
1. It’s actually kind of hard to make those world-famous bread bowls.
One of the ex-employees of Panera was called “Adrienne” (her name was changed to protect the indignant.) Adrienne hated cutting the bread bowls. We don’t blame her. Check it out:
“The tool for making bread bowls was a serrated-edged circle that had a handle on top,” Adrienne said. “You put the thing in the top,
Sounds like an OSHA violation to us.
2. On at least one occasion, floor-food was served as an act of compassion.
It doesn’t sound possible. How can serving something that landed on the floor be a nice thing to do? Well, check it out. An anonymous posting on the Tumblr blog “PaneraConfessions” spins this tragicomic tale:
“One time some lady ordered the last cherry vanilla bagel and the damn bagel slicer shot it out onto the floor and I didn’t have the heart to tell her the bagel was soiled so I made sure nobody saw and served it to her,” wrote Anonymous. That’s original punctuation, for the record.
3. At the time of Adrienne’s interview, the soup was not made on site.
We hasten to note that Panera has since changed a lot of its policies, and these comments reflect the experiences of one person, who we have never actually met. Still, to hear Adrienne tell it, they didn’t do a lot of on-site prep at Panera.
“Soup arrived in giant bricks that were heated in a hot water bath in the back of the house (same for mac and cheese and oatmeal, though those came in individually portioned bags),” she said. “The vegetables were usually pretty fresh. The bread and pastry items were baked in the store, but that was more or less the extent of it.”
4. Panera employees, like everyone else, appreciate common manners.
Twitter user @sssstringer apparently works at Panera, and he visited the Panera Problems Twitter page to share a serious complaint.
“When the customer completely ignores your greeting and spits out their order instead,” @sssstringer wrote. “Like, no, it’s called manners.” Oh, then he left an emoji of a hand.
So, who’s up for mac and cheese in a bread bowl?