It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Season, and Panera Bread’s Menu is Better Than Ever with TIBCO

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With fall in full swing, so is pumpkin spice everything. Lattes, bread, cookies, muffins, donuts—any food that can be flavored suddenly has a pumpkin spice version. Panera Bread is no stranger to the benefits of a seasonal menu, providing fresh ingredients to customers around the US.

For many, Panera evokes a feeling of home: the smell of warm chocolate chip cookies, the famous bread bowl. Over 2,000 locations in North America make Panera a customer favorite for healthy food options. 

Not only that, but Panera has over 16,000 menu items and rotating menus with items like the autumn squash soup, cinnamon crunch latte, and pumpkin cookies—offering something for every customer. The combination of seasonal items and customer favorites is a key part of the Panera experience. 

But managing a seasonal menu isn’t as simple as changing out summer flavors for fall. Retailers must contend with supply chains, different ingredients, customer preferences, and timing. 

Common Challenges in Retail

The food and drink industry faces more pressure than ever to deliver personalized customer experiences and differentiate its offerings. To provide the next best action for customers, retailers need real-time, actionable data about their customers to better predict changing preferences.

Supply chain disruptions have become increasingly frequent in food distribution, consumer goods, and grocery stores. To combat disruptions, retail businesses use mission-critical technology to reimagine supply chains and modern application architecture to improve business agility

But how are retail businesses powering these technologies? For industry leader Panera Bread, the answer is the TIBCO platform.

Panera Builds a Future-proof Data Pantry

Behind the scenes, Panera’s rotating menus require a lot of coordination with seasonal ingredients, tax codes, and inventory. With a constantly changing menu, business agility is imperative to ensure the menu changes when customers expect it to, and the correct ingredients are delivered at the correct time to make seasonal meals. 

Panera had already moved toward a seamless online and in-person experience before the pandemic, updating its ordering system to add mobile ordering, in-store kiosks, loyalty programs, and delivery. And by giving customers what they wanted (easier ways to get their favorite food on the go), Panera discovered these capabilities required a lot of data. To make inventory, store, and customer data useful, Panera had to find a way to automate the data process and update systems in real time. 

Panera turned to TIBCO solutions to build the Panera Data Pantry—managing menu data and supply chain needs for its 2,000 stores with the ultimate goal of putting warm meals in customers’ hands. A complete “data pantry” requires quality data and retail analytics, managed in a single platform for easy access and updating. For a store to display what is in stock both online and in-person, real-time data is absolutely essential. So is an omnichannel experience that feels the same on any device.

Overcoming Global Disruption with Data

The Panera Data Pantry isn’t the company’s only successful data-driven feature. Panera Grocery changed the lives of customers during the global pandemic—providing customers with exactly what they needed during times of crisis.

Panera Grocery offered fresh food and ingredients for customers during the pandemic. Grocers were facing food shortages across the country, and Panera had a pantry of fresh ingredients that weren’t being utilized as much since in-person dining was down. Because of the Panera Data Pantry’s agility, adding a whole grocery delivery service took less than two weeks in a time of extreme uncertainty and shortages. The company saw a need and was able to fulfill it immediately.

Disrupted supply chains and food shortages weren’t the only challenges Panera overcame. The retailer also had to pivot to master third-party delivery. As customers sought ways to get their favorite meals from the safety of their cars and homes, Panera’s data foundation allowed the company to connect to third-party apps like Uber Eats and Doordash easily. For pickup customers, Panera implemented a geo-fencing solution that automatically notified staff members when customers pulled up in the parking lot, ensuring their food was delivered as hot and fresh as possible. 

No matter the challenge, Panera was ready because it had already set up an agile, scalable data foundation, ready to meet any global disruption. 

Success in Any Season with TIBCO

Panera’s ability to quickly pivot to new challenges, customer needs, and seasonal menus is powered by its investment in an agile and powerful data system run on the TIBCO Platform. Whether it’s managing data, increasing data quality, connecting to third-party APIs, or building an omnichannel ordering service—Panera can do it all, and more, with the help of TIBCO.

Want your company to have this kind of agility? Read more on how Panera enabled geofencing, launched Panera Grocery, and created an agile supply chain in the most challenging circumstances. If TIBCO can do all of this for Panera’s 2,000 retail stores, imagine what we can do for your business.