A Panera customer was excited about the prospect of getting a Cinnamon Crunch bagel, but was told by a worker they were “sold out,” even though there was a bag of them visible in the store.
The mind-blowing tale comes from creator Alexa Simpson (@alexasimpson34), who posted about the incident on TikTok last Friday and received more than 57,400 views since uploading the video.
“Apparently all you have to do to get a free bag of cinnamon crunch bagels from Panera Bread is go through trauma,” Simpson begins, noting that she decided to treat herself to a “pre-workout meal” on the way to the gym by stopping at Panera.
Seeing no one at the counter initially, but noticing a bag of Cinnamon Crunch bagels in the requisite basket and a self-checkout kiosk, she decided to get to work. But when she tried to enter a Cinnamon Crunch bagel into the checkout machine, it reported that the store was sold out of the item.
“is this policy or is this a problem” was iconic fr♬ original sound – alexa simpson
“So I go to a worker and I’m like, ‘Hey, it says the Cinnamon Crunch bagels are sold out, but I see them over there. Can I just order it at the register?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah, they are sold out.'”
Simpson was flabbergasted, noting, “They’re right there.”
The worker went to inspect them and initially insisted they were Asiago bagels, but because Simpson “knows [her] bagels,” she was able to push back on the worker. After finally agreeing they were Cinnamon Crunch bagels, the worker allegedly reported, “Those are in a bag for the workers to take home.”
After a bit of a standoff, Simpson left the store, called her sister and reported the injustice. That led her sister to look up the Panera and call the manager to confirm whether this was policy. It was not, and they arranged a solution where Simpson was able to come in to finally get her Cinnamon Crunch bagels.
Commenters reacted to the situation.
“As an ex-Panera worker,” one said regarding taking bagels home, “We weren’t even allowed to do that till the store was closed so .. confusion.”
Another noted, “The worker should’ve said that they were for an order to be picked up later lol.”
One offered a possible explanation: “Sometimes leftovers from the day before are left at the store in those bags for the next day and they aren’t supposed to be sold.”
But for some, Simpson’s sister emerged as the real hero of the story, with one person saying, “The wayyy I laughed out loud at this! Your sister is a REAL one.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and to Panera via email.
Updated 12:19pm CT: There have been several instances of customers speculating that workers deploy sneaky methods to hoard items for themselves. In October, a TJ Maxx dumpster diver found so much good stuff in a dumpster outside the store that viewers assumed a worker used the dumpster to stash those items for themselves later. Shoppers of TJX Companies stores, which include HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx, have long accused store employees of taking highly sought-after items for themselves.
Two TJ Maxx workers recently confirmed their suspicions in a viral video, saying, “We work at TJ Maxx. Of course, we’re going to put Hello Kitty stuff on hold for ourselves.”
It might not matter either way, though, as most customers have said they don’t mind, arguing that one of the perks of the job should be to get first dibs on new inventory.