Top 15 Panera Bread Careers You Can Apply For

Last updated: April 23, 2024
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Top 15 Panera Bread Careers You Can Apply For
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With over 2,100 stores in 49 states, Panera Bread is a popular choice for people in the mood for delicious baked goods and other food items.

Panera Bread has grown tremendously since it began in 1987. As a result, it’s constantly in need of new employees.

If you’re someone who loves working in the food and baking industry, Panera might be the ideal fit for you.

This article will go in depth about the top 15 Panera Bread careers. Inside, you’ll also find more information regarding Panera as an employer, the benefits and average salary it offers its employees, and more.

More about Panera Bread

Panera Bread, originally known as the St. Louis Bread Company, is an American chain store of bakery-café restaurants that primarily sells baked goods and other food, including pizzas, flatbreads, sandwiches, and pastas.

In 2021, Panera Bread accounted for around $5.7 billion in annual sales — making it the leading bakery and café chain in the U.S.

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The main reason for the company’s success is that it adopted a niche strategy where it differentiates itself as a fast-food restaurant that sells healthy, tasty, affordable, and fresh food.

Due to its success, the company is often hiring new employees across its 2,100+ stores. These include both management and entry-level positions.

Panera Bread has locations across the U.S. Its most popular ones include:

  • Orlando, Florida

  • St. Louis, Missouri

  • Columbus, Ohio

  • Atlanta, Georgia

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Cleveland, Ohio

  • Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Tampa, Florida

  • Louisville, Kentucky

  • Boston, Massachusetts

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The company also has many other locations. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new position, you’ll likely find job openings at a Panera location close to you.

How much does Panera Bread pay its employees?

The average salary of Panera Bread employees is $11.13 per hour.

However, some positions earn significantly higher than average, and others earn lower. The amount that you’ll be paid depends on the following three factors:

  • Job type: Managerial or senior positions earn higher salaries than entry-level positions since they often have educational requirements.

  • Skills and experience: If two people work in the same position, the one with more skills and experience can earn a higher salary.

  • Location: Some Panera Bread locations pay their staff members more than others.

Top 15 Panera Bread careers

Panera Bread offers careers for people with various skill sets and experience levels — giving everyone an equal opportunity.

Many of its job positions don’t require a university degree or several years of experience. In fact, most of the company’s employees (close to 60%) are in their early careers.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular careers that Panera Bread offers, including their job responsibilities, average salaries, and requirements.

Restaurant and factory positions

1. Cashier

Cashiers work at the cash register processing transactions (both cash and card). They also keep track of receipts and always offer excellent customer service.

Since a huge part of a cashier’s job is working with money, they need to be good at math and should be able to communicate effectively with customers.

On average, cashiers at Panera Bread earn around $9.50 per hour. However, your salary can increase to $13 per hour based on your experience and skills. People who can speak Spanish can also earn 9% more.

2. Baker

Bakers at Panera spend their days, or nights, making the company’s famous cookies and delicious desserts. They usually work eight-hour shifts.

Culinary arts experience may be required to become a baker at Panera. But perhaps more important than prior training is a natural talent for baking delicious goods.

If you want to become a baker, you need to be willing to spend long hours on your feet, and should also be able to handle working in warm temperatures.

Bakers at Panera Bread earn an average of around $13 per hour. Those who have 5–9 years of experience typically earn more.

3. Shift supervisor

Shift supervisors are responsible for managing the shift. They jump in to support whatever cafe team needs assisting. You might help with the bakery staff, problem solve with cafe associates, or help out the cashiers during a lunch rush.

People in this position need to be able to work independently and as part of a team.

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They also need to have full work availability for days, weekends, nights, and holidays. One or more years of experience as a restaurant manager is preferred.

The average restaurant supervisor earns close to $15 per hour. Those with operations management and problem solving skills can earn up to 5% more than average.

4. Restaurant assistant manager

Restaurant assistant managers are responsible for a variety of tasks, including scheduling shifts, hiring and training employees, and seating customers. They manage the restaurant to ensure high customer satisfaction.

A high school diploma or GED is required to get this job. A post-secondary degree in the hospitality industry or a related field is also highly desirable.

The average restaurant assistant manager at Panera Bread earns around $40,455 per year. Those with operations management skills can earn up to 11% more than average.

5. Delivery driver

Delivery drivers bring orders to customers. Their main duties include collecting orders and driving to customers’ locations to deliver their goods.

People who want to apply for this position need a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. They also need to be well-organized and have great time management skills to ensure all orders are delivered on time.

On average, delivery drivers at Panera Bread earn around $8.50 per hour. However, you can earn a lot more with the tips you receive.

Learn how to land a delivery driver job.

6. Cafe Associate

Associates are responsible for a variety of tasks and can fill many positions, such as a server, cashier, line associate, and more.

Some of their main tasks include welcoming guests, helping out at the cashier, and sometimes even delivering food to customers’ tables. They’re also responsible for educating customers on the menu and upselling them on certain items.

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People in this position need to be extremely friendly and should communicate with customers with energy and enthusiasm. They should also be able to work well under pressure, especially during busy hours when there are many customers.

Some food service experience is preferred for this position (but not necessary). The average server earns around $11 per hour.

7. Dishwasher

Dishwashers are responsible for washing and drying pots, pans, and dishes. They make sure that the kitchen is kept clean at all times.

This position generally doesn't have any educational requirements. However, people applying for the role should have excellent time-management and cleaning skills.

The average dishwasher at Panera Bread earns around $12 per hour.

8. Production supervisor

Production supervisors oversee the production process in the factory and ensure that supplies are stocked and equipment is in working order. They have to make sure that the best products are provided to the company’s restaurants.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or management is desired for this role. People in this position need to have great leadership skills so they can guide employees and see that production runs smoothly.

On average, production supervisors at Panera Bread earn $15 per hour. People in this role can advance to higher positions, including production manager or operations manager.

9. Caterer

Caterers are responsible for planning menus for meetings and events that customers host at the restaurant or other locations. They provide personalized, expert service from start to finish and make sure that all customers’ expectations are met.

People in this position need to have exceptional time management and organizational skills to ensure that catering events run smoothly.

Caterers earn an average of $13 per hour. But they can earn a lot more, depending on their skill set.

10. Barista

Baristas are responsible for making beverages such as coffee, tea, and specialty drinks for customers. Some of their tasks include taking orders from customers and helping them with their payments. They also need to keep their work areas and equipment clean.

People applying for this position need to be happy with a friendly personality to create a great customer experience. Furthermore, they also need to have great communication, literacy, and numeracy skills so they can work with customers and money.

On average, Baristas earn an average of around $11.50 per hour. However, you can earn up to $15 an hour if you have adequate experience and above-average skills.

11. Crew leader

Crew leaders supervise specific teams and are the first line of management for crew members. They’re responsible for handling disciplinary matters and sometimes have to bring these issues to higher-level management.

They’re often the most skilled or experienced members of the crew and train other members using their knowledge and skills. Therefore, they need to have great leadership qualities.

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Crew leaders at Panera Bread earn around $11 per hour. But you can earn significantly more depending on the type of team you’re leading — either in Panera restaurants or its corporate locations.

Want to apply for a crew leader position? Learn how to sharpen your soft skills so you can stand out among candidates.

12. Salad and sandwich maker

Salad and sandwich makers are responsible for prepping, cooking, assembling, and plating items such as soups, salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, and more.

People in this position need to be able to work well under pressure and should enjoy working with food. To attain this role, you need to be at least 16 years old.

Sandwich makers in general earn an average of just over $9 an hour. But, you can earn significantly more based on your level of skill. This position also offers career advancement opportunities.

Corporate positions

13. Customer service associate

Customer service associates are responsible for helping customers with queries or complaints. They’ll often help customers over the phone, but they can also be required to help them in person.

To become a customer service associate, you need to have exceptional customer service, communication, and listening skills.

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You also need to have a positive attitude and be patient and willing to work with customers — even when they’re upset.

The average customer service associate at Panera Bread earns around $11 per hour. You can earn up to $14 per hour, however, depending on your years of experience.

14. Sales and marketing assistant

Sales and marketing assistants are responsible for helping managers with all marketing and sales activities. They primarily work at Panera’s corporate offices.

Some of their main tasks include strategizing campaigns, creating marketing content, and preparing sales proposals. The goal of these strategies is to take customers through the sales process.

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People in this role should have strong communication and negotiation skills. A degree in marketing or sales or a few years of experience in the industry is highly advantageous.

On average, sales and marketing assistants at Panera Bread earn $11 per hour. However, you can earn up to $16 per hour, depending on your location, education, and experience.

15. Administrative assistant

Administrative assistants are responsible for answering phone calls, scheduling meetings, answering customer queries via email, and more. These individuals mainly work in the company’s corporate offices.

Their daily tasks include scanning, typing, and filing documents. People applying for this position need a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. Knowledge of administrative procedures and computer systems is also preferred.

On average, administrative assistants at Panera Bread earn around $13 per hour. But you can earn more if you have clerical experience.

Panera Bread employee benefits

In addition to competitive pay, Panera Bread provides its employees with great benefits. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Health insurance: This includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, each with multiple tiers of coverage.

  • 401(k) retirement plan: The company matches a percentage of the employee’s contributions (up to 6%).

  • Disability program: This program provides income protection if an employee can’t work due to injury or illness.

  • Paid time off: Employees’ time off depends on their position and the location they work at.

  • Tuition reimbursement: The company offers tuition reimbursement to some of its employees that can cover up to 100% of the cost of tuition.

Learn more about all the benefits the company offers in our full Panera Bread employee benefits guide.

Skills Panera Bread looks for in its employees

Panera Bread strives to provide its community with healthy food choices — all while providing exceptional customer service. It emphasizes employee development — believing that leadership skills are instrumental in success.

Based on its core principles, here are some of the top skills Panera Bread looks out for when hiring employees:

Customer service

People applying for a position at Panera Bread need to be willing to offer great customer service to all customers. This service should be maintained while taking customers’ orders, giving them recommendations, and answering their questions.

On top of that, Panera Bread employees should be willing to go out of their way to keep customers happy — even if it means bringing a situation to someone in a higher-level position.


Many roles at Panera Bread involve managing and leading teams. As such, the company looks for people who either have existing leadership skills or demonstrate great leadership potential.

Being a leader means giving subordinates or team members the support and tools they need to help the business achieve its goals.

Interpersonal skills

Panera Bread employees deal with people daily, whether it be suppliers, customers, or other staff members. As such, it’s important for all employees to have great interpersonal skills, including listening, communication, and compassion.


The company consists of several departments, each of which has different teams to keep processes running. Regardless of which department you’re thinking of joining, you need to be able to work well with others.

Find a job at Panera Bread

Whether you’re looking for an entry-level or management position, Panera Bread is a great employer that offers many benefits to its employees.

You can browse Jobcase’s job board for the most recent Panera Bread job offers. You can also see what former employees of Panera Bread have to say.



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