Panera launched an unlimited subscription coffee program in late February, a move CEO Niren Chaudhary called “disruptive.”
Indeed, no other chain had launched such a program without restrictions on size, daypart or channel.
Then the pandemic hit. Workers stopped commuting to the office (and leaving their homes in general), and the only thing that was actually disrupted was business as usual.
Still, Panera has so far managed to break the 835,000-subscriber level on its fledgling, $8.99-a-month program, including over 700,000 sign-ups alone in July.