Money Minute: Can iPads Improve Service at Panera?

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Panera Bread is trying to speed up ordering and service at its restaurants.

Panera (PNRA) is installing Apple (AAPL) iPads at kiosks in its stores to allow guests to place their own orders. Customers can also put a table number on the order to have their food delivered. Panera hopes that will eliminate some of the bottlenecks in getting your food.

General Mills (GIS), the maker Cheerios and other well-known food brands, is taking preemptive steps to block lawsuits against the company.
According to The New York Times, the company has added language to its website telling customers they give up the right to sue if they download coupons, enter company-sponsored sweepstakes, or join its online communities such as Facebook (FB). Instead, you automatically agree to settle any disputes through an arbitration process. One attorney says this protects the company from all accountability.

Florida will soon become the 21st state to collect sales taxes on goods bought on Amazon.com (AMZN). That means about 60 percent of the U.S. population will be subject to sales taxes on their purchases. Up next is Maryland, which will impose a sales tax later this year.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 162 points Wednesday, bringing the this week's gain to nearly 400 points, the Dow's best three day run in four months. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 19 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 52 points.

It's one of the busiest days of the earnings season, with dozens of leading companies posting their quarterly report cards. Among stocks to watch: General Electric (GE), Goldman Sachs (GS) and PepsiCo (PEP), along with IBM (IBM) and Google (GOOG), which reported Wednesday night.

Finally, the Milwaukee Bucks are the worst team in the NBA this season, but they're still worth $550 million. That's the reported sale price for former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, who bought the team in 1985 for $18 million. The sale, to a pair of hedge fund billionaires, requires that they keep the team in Milwaukee.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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Stryyder56

I never experienced a service issue at Panera's? I wait in line, order my food, and go sit a table. I like to relax and I am not in rush to eat. If you cannot wait a few minutes then go someplace else and eat. No need to change anything.................

April 17 2014 at 1:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

who cares?

April 17 2014 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Joe

Panera Bread's service time issues need to be addressed in a number of different ways, ordering from the table via IPad device is one way but it also creates another service problem in that the tables will all eventually be filled with customers waiting for their food and then eating obviously. The Panera Bread ordering line keeps the customer from occupying a table unless others in their party grab a table while the ordering customer is in line.
The main service issue for Panera Bread is their menu has grown beyond the capability of their kitchen design which can only be resolved by the combination of menu design and equipment engineering specifically designed to speed up service. The last remaining issue is the layout design where the customer wait to pick up their order when called get impatient and cluster at the head of the order line causing a traffic jam.

April 17 2014 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abudotcom

I had never had any problems at Panera's, service or food....

April 17 2014 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to abudotcom's comment
Paul

I agree. Trying to fix something not broken.

April 17 2014 at 10:51 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nucleansolutions

YES

April 17 2014 at 8:57 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply