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Even Panera Has Secrets They Don't Want Their Customers To Know

Things may be going well for Panera Bread, but it seems that sprinkled in the middle

of the delicious coffee-based drinks and assorted pastries are a few secrets they'd rather keep

to themselves.

These are the things Panera Bread doesn't want you to know.

Say you head to the counter and find your order is wrong.

Panera has a way to rectify those mistakes, though they're not very open about advertising

this policy.

If Panera messes up your order you are entitled to receive a free treat.

Yum!

Former Panera employees have confirmed that this is the standard, though it's a pretty

well-kept secret.

One former employee says that treat is usually a chocolate chip cookie, but if a customer

asks for something different from the bakery, they'll most likely get their wish.

Don't let the steaming hot bowl of soup fool you.

According to employees, there's no chef in the back stirring fresh ingredients into a

big pot.

When you sit down to enjoy one of Panera Bread's many soups, be aware that warm spoonful was

originally delivered to the store in the state of a frozen brick.

Yes, a former Panera employee on Reddit claims that Panera's soup is made fresh off premises,

and then frozen into bricks before being sent off to stores.

Once in store, soups go from frozen to ready to serve by heating up in a hot water bath

in the back of the store.

It's not a horrible practice, but it might not be what you thought you were ordering.

How is that bread bowl looking now?

If you've ever been to Panera Bread right before closing time, you may notice that there

are bagels, bread, and baked goods still on the shelf.

Want a free one?

If you come late enough, you might get lucky.

A former employee spilled the beans, saying there are always extra pastries on the shelf

before closing time.

If you're one of the last customers, just ask and you may be able to snag a baked good

without shelling out any change.

Now that's a secret you night owls will be glad to know!

Whichever ones you don't choose though, you won't find them on the shelves the next morning

— and they won't go to waste either.

Panera Bread has always been open about what happens to those bakery items once the lights

go out.

Through Panera's Day-End Dough-Nation program, any unsold goods are donated to local food

pantries, soup kitchens or homeless shelters to help feed those in need.

You won't find lobster on the menu all year round, but when the right season hits, select

Panera Bread locations offer options with this coastal favorite such as Lobster Mac

& Cheese and lobster rolls.

But it comes at a price that some northeast Panera employees say is quite high for the

quality.

Two Panera employees confess on Reddit that customers can find fresher and better tasting

lobster rolls right down the street from their locations — for much less.

A Massachusetts-based employee says they feel bad when a customer orders the lobster roll

when for $9 they can head down the street for something tastier, and a New York employee

says customers can find many places in the area that offer a much fresher lobster roll

for at least $5 less than the choice from Panera.

Employees seem to think you should shop around.

"But, the lobster… you’re sure that you -- you want the lobster?"

“I don’t see what the big deal is, it’s ON the menu!

Like, I'll have the damn lobster.”

Click around on Panera Bread's website and you'll see the words clean, nutrient rich,

and raised responsibly.

You'll find ingredients like whole grain, egg whites, and steel cut oatmeal on their

breakfast menu, or salads loaded with fruits and vegetables.

Panera has been listed in numerous magazines like Women's Health and Good Housekeeping

as one of the healthiest choices for fast food restaurants.

But are they really as healthy as they seem?

If you dig a little deeper on their website you'll find that what customers may think

are healthier alternatives may not be healthy at all.

Scrolling through Panera Bread's nutrition information you will see that a whole Greek

salad contains 1180 mg of sodium.

While this is the only salad option that tips the sodium scale over 1000, many of the sandwich

options are even higher.

That's almost your day's worth of sodium in one item!

Should we even talk about the bread bowls?

The bistro french onion in a bread bowl contains over 2200 mg of sodium and a scary 151 grams

of carbs.

It's safe to say that Panera, in all their healthy messaging, doesn't want you to look

too deeply into these numbers.

If you search the internet for Panera Mac & Cheese you'll find a whole list of copycat

recipes.

There's something about the irresistibly cheesy pasta customers can't get enough of — but

it's not freshness that makes it taste so good.

Employees have spilled the beans: Panera's Mac & Cheese, and all of their pasta for that

matter, arrives to stores already prepared, in single serving-sized bags.

Then to prepare, the pasta is either boiled in the bag or heated up in the microwave before

serving.

It may be fresher and cheaper to test out one of the copycat recipes and give Panera

Bread a run for their money from your own kitchen.

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