young woman in Panera


‘Only a matter of time before they take it off the menu’: Panera customer claims chain is moving Charged Lemonades behind the counter

'You know it was because of that video last week of that girl tweaking.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Dec 19, 2022   Updated on Dec 21, 2022, 11:02 am CST

Last week, TikTok user Sarah (@sarahebaus) went viral and caused a stir after revealing that she had inadvertently consumed over 1,000 mg of caffeine in one day thanks to Panera Bread’s Charged Lemonades.

For context, the Food and Drug Administration says that one should not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. A large Charged Lemonade from Panera has 390 mg of caffeine, per the company’s website.

Now, another user on TikTok is claiming that Sarah’s video has led to a change in the store’s layout.

Previously, a customer who purchased a Charged Lemonade was allowed to refill it by themselves. But according to TikTok user Régan (@reganalexxis) in a video with over 754,000 views, that appears to no longer be the case.

@reganalexxis no more free refills of charged lemonade at panera. @sarahebaus your influence was too strong 😔 260 mg of caffeine in ONE of these babies. truly has u feeling like the hulk. only a matter of time before they take it off the menu better try it QUICK #chargedlemonade #paneralemonade #freerefills #hulksmash #caffeinerush ♬ original sound – régan alexxis

“I am very upset they took away the free refills of the Charged Lemonade at Panera,” says Régan. “Look, it’s behind the fucking counter now.”

“You know it was [because] of that video last week of that girl tweaking,” she concludes, referencing Sarah’s video.

According to commenters, the movement of the Charged Lemonade dispenser to behind the counter is not yet universal. Machines in some locations remain available for refills.

“I work at a panera and ours is still in the lobby, y’all go to corporate stores or something,” wrote one user.

“I work at Panera! ours is still completely normal! source: I cleaned the machines in the lobby like three hours ago,” stated another.

However, machines in other locations appear to have been moved behind the bar, where customers must ask for refills instead of being able to do it themselves.

“My local panera did the same – I’m livid,” shared a user.

“Ours has been behind the counter for at least 6 months now,” alleged a second.

The actual reasoning for this move is unclear. While Régan speculated that the move was due to Sarah’s viral video, others claim that there were more practical reasons for the switch.

“I was told in my location it was because kids would pick them out without parents knowing how much caffeine they had,” said a commenter.

“It’s not taking away the free refills, it’s because people come in and steal cups and steal the charged lemonades,” offered an additional TikToker. “I work at Panera lol.”

“See I work there it’s just because people were fr asking for water cups and getting the charged lemonade,” echoed a further user.

Still, some users are concerned that this may be a sign that Panera is considering doing away with the Charged Lemonade for good.

As Régan writes in the video’s caption, “only a matter of time before they take it off the menu better try it QUICK.”

The Daily Dot reached out to both Régan and Panera via email.

Update 11:00am CT December 21: In an email to Daily Dot, Regan shared the following:

“Many of my comments came from current Panera employees, who confirmed that Panera moved the lemonade dispensers behind the bar for two reasons: major profit losses (people were stealing cups and getting multiple refills without paying in the first place), [and] children were drinking the charged lemonades without their parents knowledge,” she wrote.

“Many consumers could perceive lemonade as a ‘healthier’ drink option than soda, coffee or other energy drinks — in Panera’s case this is simply false advertising,” she continued. “The caffeine and sugar content in Panera’s charged lemonades is significantly higher than other common energy drinks…without many customers knowledge.”

While the TikToker initially shared her disappointment about the movement of the Charged Lemonade dispensers, she argued that it’s likely safer for consumers to have them behind the counter.

“The fact these lemonades have such outrageous levels of caffeine in the first place is concerning, but especially with their easy refill access. The level of caffeine should be stressed more in their advertising, as it would be easy for those unfamiliar with caffeine content to consume dangerous levels without realizing,” she concluded. “It’s probably best for everyone’s health many locations have made this decision, I’m curious to see if this will affect locations nationwide!”

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*First Published: Dec 19, 2022, 8:28 am CST