Panera employees share their tips for saving time and money at the chain

Panera Bread employee customer

Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Here's how you can save money on salads and bagels.

  • Panera Bread currently employs around 140,000 people.
  • Business Insider spoke to a handful of these employees about what it's like to work at the national chain.
  • The group of current and former employees shared a few tips on how to save time and money at Panera Bread.
Thinking about grabbing a bite to eat at Panera Bread?

Well, Business Insider spoke with a number of current and former Panera Bread employees who have some tips on making the most of your next Panera run.

Read more: Panera is rolling out the two-bowl version of its famous bread bowl across America

Panera Bread employs a workforce of 140,000, and the folks who work there see firsthand how the restaurants are run. Their advice could potentially help you save both time and money when you dine at Panera Bread.

Here's what the employees had to say:

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Three employees specifically recommended avoiding the store's drive-thru whenever possible. One worker warned of the possibility that you'll get stuck behind someone making a massive $90 order.

Three employees specifically recommended avoiding the store's drive-thru whenever possible. One worker warned of the possibility that you'll get stuck behind someone making a massive $90 order.

And a different employee added that parties with "large orders" are usually better off skipping the drive-thru and just heading into the restaurant.

And a different employee added that parties with "large orders" are usually better off skipping the drive-thru and just heading into the restaurant.
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Another employee suggested scheduling your orders through the restaurant's "Rapid Pick-Up" option, saying, "It is such a great idea with big and small orders and you can go through the drive-thru to get them," the employee said.

Another employee suggested scheduling your orders through the restaurant's "Rapid Pick-Up" option, saying, "It is such a great idea with big and small orders and you can go through the drive-thru to get them," the employee said.

But if you're determined to pull up to the drive-thru, make sure you place your order correctly at the ordering board. "Changing your order at the window slows everything down for everyone behind you," an employee told Business Insider.

But if you're determined to pull up to the drive-thru, make sure you place your order correctly at the ordering board. "Changing your order at the window slows everything down for everyone behind you," an employee told Business Insider.
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There's a sneaky way you can save a bit of money on your next Panera salad through the menu's you-pick-two option. "Order a half salad and double all the ingredients — its cheaper," one employee said.

There's a sneaky way you can save a bit of money on your next Panera salad through the menu's you-pick-two option. "Order a half salad and double all the ingredients — its cheaper," one employee said.

Looking to satisfy your bagel craving? An employee said that all bagels at their Panera Bread location are discounted on Tuesdays. A frequent customer told Business Insider that they typically visit the restaurants on Tuesdays to buy up the most expensive bagels and take advantage of the discount.

Looking to satisfy your bagel craving? An employee said that all bagels at their Panera Bread location are discounted on Tuesdays. A frequent customer told Business Insider that they typically visit the restaurants on Tuesdays to buy up the most expensive bagels and take advantage of the discount.
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Another employee plugged the company's MyPanera rewards program, which can hook you up with rewards like free baked goods and drinks.

Another employee plugged the company's MyPanera rewards program, which can hook you up with rewards like free baked goods and drinks.

As a general rule, it also never hurts to be nice to the people preparing your food. "Be polite and we will treat you extremely well," one employee told Business Insider.

As a general rule, it also never hurts to be nice to the people preparing your food. "Be polite and we will treat you extremely well," one employee told Business Insider.

Are you a Panera Bread employee with a story to share? Email acain@businessinsider.com.

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