In a viral TikTok video, a Panera customer called out the chain for food items allegedly shrinking in size despite the price staying the same.
In the video, Joshua (@joshua9410) films himself eating his home after grabbing food from the grand opening of a Panera location in Medford, Oregon.
In the video, he and another person lay out the meal they just bought on their kitchen table. Between the two, there are two sandwich halves, two cups of soup, a large drink, and two baguette pieces.
“This is what $40 at Panera looks like. Tiny *ss sandwich,” Joshua says in the clip.
In the caption, Joshua explained that his wife initially thought the sandwiches were “the little pieces of [baguette] they give you with the soup until opening, and then we realize they forgot our [baguettes].”
He went on to say that they used to really enjoy going to the fast-casual chain and used to get the same sandwich “all the time and it was never this small.”
“It’s like a quarter of a sandwhich. Our minds were blown, we had to find something else to eat after we finished this ‘sandwhich’ and cup of soup,” Joshua shared.
The video has more than 800,000 views and over 3,700 comments as of Monday afternoon.
In a follow-up video, Joshua shares that each meal was about $14-$16, and the rest of the $36 price tag was from the single fountain drink and an almost $2 chocolate chip cookie.
The rise in price and alleged shrink in size matches other accusations of “shrinkflation” of consumer goods. Shrinkflation is a combination of the words shrink and inflation. When combined, it refers to how some products shrink in size or quantity while maintaining the same price, so you end up paying more for less.
This is usually done to offset rising production costs or maintain profit margins when faced with competition.
Several commenters said they feel similarly about Panera not being worth the price anymore.
“Prices are crazy there. Sad cause I like the food buts it’s all v over priced,” a top comment read.
“SAME! Got 2 of the pick 2, no drinks…$40. Never again,” another person said.
“Yes! It never feels worth it it’s so small but costs so much. I don’t go there anymore because of this,” a third wrote.
Others pointed out that for that price, they could buy groceries and make the meal themselves.
“2 full grocery bags at Aldi for $40,” a commenter said.
“I’ll just make my own turkey sammy and open a can of Campbells at that price,” another shared.
The Daily Dot reached out to Joshua via TikTok comment and to Panera via email.