Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What the HUH???!

Sunday... The church service is over. Hubs, LO and I are heading home. It strikes. The thought of a broccoli-cheddar bread bowl from Panera. Yum. We head to our local Panera. Hubs takes LO to get her situated in a high chair while I order.

"Two broccoli-cheddar bread bowls for here, please."

"We're out of bread bowls."

"Seriously? Out of bread bowls?? It's barely noon!"

I tell hubs, we load up LO and head next door to Brixx Pizza instead. In and out of this casual family dining joint in no time. And the pineapple pizza more than made up for the missing bread bowls.

Monday... Hubs takes the day off for his birthday. We decide to hit one of his favorite spots for lunch: Panera. Only this time we go to a different Panera. We walk in, get LO situated in her high chair, wipe down the table, get out her Gerber raviolis and juice, then hubs went to order our 2 broccoli-cheddar bread bowls. He kinda yelled at me from across the restaurant (it was around 2PM--there weren't many people there) that they were OUT OF BREAD BOWLS!


Ya. That's right. Two days. Two Panera's. Zero bread bowls. I was flabbergasted to say the least. What was even more retarded? The Panera guy actually tried to say that because the weather has been getting colder, more people are ordering bread bowls.

So, tell me, is it not common where you're from that the weather starts to--I dunno--get colder in the Fall?? Wasn't this something they could've seen coming rather than be blindsided by the increased and unexpected bread bowl demand? Seriously people.

We finished feeding LO her lunch, then hit the road. That's right! I mean, really, we could've had broccoli-cheddar soup in a real, porcelain-type bowl, but really it was the principle of it all. No bread bowls? We're out.

As you might imagine, I sent a nasty-gram to Panera today via their website. Should be interesting to see what they come back with--if they respond at all.


  1. That's the only thing I order at Panera and if they were ever out I wouldn't bother trying to find something else to satiate my hunger...I'd go to Quizno's and order the same thing :)

  2. We had the same problem at Panera last year on a rainy fall day. They looked so puzzled as they said they were busier than usual and were out. We went to McAlisters. The ones there aren't too bad when you just have to have a bread bowl.

  3. Thank you very much for your comments about bread bowls. I work for a Panera Bread franchise in Iowa where it is finally starting to feel more like fall. I just sent out a copy of your blog entry to all of our managers as a reminder to be thinking more about soup procedures and having enough bread bowls. Sometimes you can get so caught up in the day to day that you overlook the obvious. I don't want our managers to be caught off guard and look stupid! Hopefully the PBs in your area are catching on and have increased their bread bowl production - and you and your family can enjoy some soon!

  4. The thing I find tangentially amazing is the lack of any form of apology. At least you didn't mention one. I've experienced this so often lately I'm beginning to believe it is epidemic. An apology will not solve the situation, of course, but a little sympathy/empathy goes a LONG way; in any situation.

  5. lspoon, I'm glad to know we're not the only ones committed to the bread bowl! And I'm afraid the Quizno's one just doesn't meet our hardcore bread bowl standards! ;)

    Teresa, I'll have to try McAlister's bread bowls sometime. I've heard they have killer mac n' cheese, too!

    mscoville, Wow! Thanks for taking the time to not only read this post, but to also share it with other Panera managers! We love Panera and obviously wouldn't care if they were out of bread bowls if we didn't love them so much! Thanks a bunch!

    Tim, no there were no apologies from either location. However, I did receive an apology in the "canned" response I received from Panera's corporate office in response to my nastygram! ;)