This isn’t an advertisement … I wish it was … but I’ve got to say that I’m kind of loving Panera’s new Rapid Pick-Up service, and I think my recent orders reflect that because lately we’ve been eating out from Panera at least once a week as opposed to maybe once a month or whatever in the past.
The biggest selling point by far is simply put – I don’t have to interact with anyone to get food anymore!
I order on the app, pay on the app, drive to the restaurant down the street from me, and without fail every time there’s my order just waiting patiently on the pick-up shelf for me! No stupid pagers, no haggling with the cashier to see if they’re willing to make the sandwich that I want on a given day – just in and out.
Anti-social Scott LOVES Panera Rapid Pick-Up!!!
It also doesn’t hurt that parking at my nearest Panera absolutely sucks. It’s in an outdoor mall where apparently people getting to the mall was an afterthought and so even if their own parking lot was actually big enough for the store, you’ve got people from eighteen other mall stores bogarting spaces when they’re not even eating at Panera in the first place!
I seriously used to spend so much time circling parking lots that I’d be absolutely fuming by the time I finally made my way into the store … not exactly getting your customers started off on the right foot! But as for the Rapid Pick-Up spaces up front, surprisingly I’ve yet to see people really abusing them yet and there’s always been at least one open when I pull up … I’m literally in the store less than a minute, so if they can keep those spots dedicated for pick-up only it’ll be a godsend…
And lastly, I’ve also been enjoying the new program because it seems to give me a little more elbow room to experiment with their menu, whereas when I’m standing there in line and there are half a dozen soccer Moms behind me, I kind of feel obliged to just pick something off of the menu and get out of the way! But the app gives me all the time I need to browse and consider my options … I wonder how many people realize that not only can you pretty much get your sandwich on any kind of bread that they have, but you can also swap out sauces, cheeses, and even meats.
Lately I’ve been doing their Steak & White Cheddar, but I get it with BBQ sauce instead of horseradish and a different kind of bread, too. It’s nice to actually have options when there are so many things on their menu that are almost, but not quite what you’re in the mood for eating! 😉
So anyways, we ended up ordering from there tonight and I felt compelled to write a bit about a company actually doing good. It’s nice to have an option that’s as fast or faster than fast food, but considerably healthier.
Now if Red Robin next door could jump on the same bandwagon… 😀