Panera Brands is Laying off 17% of its Corporate Staff as the Company Prepares for an IPO
Panera Brands is laying off 17% of its corporate staff — or approximately 300 of its 1,800 office employees — as the St. Louis-based parent company of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels prepares to go public, per a report from The Wall Street Journal.
According to an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the job cuts will be focused on support-staff roles as the company reorganizes ahead of the planned IPO, the plans for which were originally announced in May. Since then, Panera has already named a new CEO, and added new members to the executive board, including former Starbucks CFO and current Panera board member Patrick Grismer as lead independent director of the board, and former Krispy Kreme CEO Michael Tattersfield.
Panera Brands CEO José Alberto Dueñas said it was a difficult decision that will ultimately help streamline the company and allow for efficient operations at the store-level, while a Panera spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the staffing cuts would improve customer experience. Panera did not respond to requests for further comment.
Although the timing for an IPO is not yet certain, this will be the first time Panera will be a public company after being taken private by JAB Holding in 2017. It will also be the second attempt to take Panera public in recent years, following the dissolution of a partnership with New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer. In 2021, Panera Brands announced its intention to file an IPO through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company led by Meyer, but the deal fell through seven months later.
In May, the company revealed that it generated $4.8 billion in revenue in 2022, most of which came from digital sales, and its loyalty program includes 53 million members, while its Unlimited Sip Club program accounts for 25% of all Panera transactions.