Does Panera Bread Hire Felons?

Panera Bread, often referred to as Panera, is a bakery and cafe. They have baked goods and other small meal items.

As someone with a criminal record, you may find it difficult to get a job. But, it is important that you do. This will help you transition back into everyday life and keep you away from your criminal past. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Below you will find information about Panera and their application process.

About Panera

Panera produces fresh baked goods daily. They sell these along with pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches, and salads. They also offer catering options.

Ron Shaich founded Panera as a cookie store before partnering with Au Bon Pain. They purchased the St. Louis Bread Company in the mid-1990’s. In 1999, after selling Au Bon Pain, they became the Panera Bread Company.

Panera now has about 2,000 locations and 140,000 employees. They have won several awards related to dining and food service innovation. Most recently, they won “Sandwich Shop Brand of the Year”.

Panera employees have insurance and retirement options available. They are also given discounts on various products and services. Panera also offers an Employee Assistance Program. This is a type of counseling program that is free to employees.

Employees like the supportive environment that Panera has to offer. They also say that the starting pay is good. Panera is also flexible with employee schedules.

Does Panera Hire Felons?

According to employees, Panera does hire people with felony records. The company does not have any strict rules about employees with criminal records. But, this decision is always made with specific facts of the offense in mind.

Panera also has two different types of locations; corporate and franchise. Corporate is when the company owns it. Franchise is when someone has bought a location from Panera. Depending on which one it is, the requirements for criminal history are different.

Does Panera run Background Checks?

Yes, Panera does do these checks. This generally includes criminal history and a drug screening. If you apply for a delivery job, then they might do a driving history check as well.

Criminal checks show all charges on your record. Driving checks show any traffic offenses, accidents, and DUI’s. Drug tests show any substance you have taken. You can take prescription medicine if your doctor wrote you the prescription.

Careers at Panera

Panera has a few different entry level jobs. Some of the options they have include;

  • Sanitation operator
  • Production operator
  • Baker
  • Delivery driver
  • Customer care specialist

Sanitation operators work in the production facilities. Their job is to maintain and sanitize the production equipment. You should be able to do some heavy lifting for this job.

Production operators also work in the production facilities. But, they make food and ingredients. Although you will not do as much heavy lifting, you will still operate the machinery. Basic technical skills are a plus, but not needed.

Bakers work in the stores and make fresh baked goods daily. Culinary experience is a plus, but not needed. You should be able to do some light lifting as you will need to carry ingredients.

Delivery drivers should have a clean driving record. You will also use your own vehicle. When not on a food delivery, you may need to help out with other miscellaneous tasks.

Customer care specialists work in the call centers. You will need to be up to date on company policies and products. Panera does like to see at least a little customer service experience before hiring.

Application Process at Panera

You can apply online through Panera’s website. Click on the category and click “Click here to see all (category) jobs”. Click on the job that interests you and click “apply now”. The website then directs you to enter your name and email and upload a resume.

The first thing you want to remember when applying is to be honest. The application only asks for a resume. So, you might not need to let them know about your criminal record until the interview.

During the interview, be honest about your record. But, take this time to explain how you have turned your life around.

Panera likes to see dedicated employees. If the application does ask for a cover letter, be specific. Let them know why you want to work for Panera and what you like to have at their restaurant.

You should also list any technical, culinary, or other skills training you received. This includes any programs during your incarceration.

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