Is your favorite snack at Panera Bread going away? Fans of the chain are buzzing amid reports of menu cuts. While the company has confirmed that it’s testing a smaller menu in some locations, there have been few official details.
A viral video by TikTok creator Zach (@snachwithzach) breaks down the internet rumors. The video has over a million views and more than 45,000 likes.
@snachwithzach Last week, a rumor began spreading that Panera would be making considerable changes to their menu. We now have official confirmation from the company that they are doing a lot of downsizing. Although they didn’t say what would be going away, a Reddit post from user Wolfygirl97 shows what appears to be a full list of the items that may potentially receive the boot. We’ll be breaking some of it down today as well as added context, but keep in mind that the list itself is not confirmed by Panera. #panera#foodnews#foodtok#fastfood#bagels#panerabread#lunch#restaurant#bread#sourdough#bakery#fyp ♬ Final Girl – Instrumental – Haelphon
In the video, Zach says Panera confirmed it will be removing a “substantial” number of items from its menu. According to the creator, Reddit user wolfygirl97 circulated a list of around 50 items that would be leaving, sparking internet discussion.
Items on the list include sandwiches like Napa Almond Chicken Salad and Smokehouse BBQ Chicken, all flatbread pizzas, Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Bistro French Onion Soup, and other soups, salads and entrees.
The list also includes many baked goods and breakfast items, including breads like classic sourdough and bagel flavors like blueberry, sesame, and chocolate chip. Drinks listed include vanilla cold brew coffee, hot chocolate, and the mango smoothie. The list also mentions that all kid’s menu items would be leaving.
The authenticity of the list—or where it might go into effect, if real—has not been confirmed by Panera. The restaurant chain’s online menu still lists plenty of customers’ favorites. In a statement to Restaurant Business, which Zach cited in his video, the company said:
“We are currently testing a streamlined menu in a small amount of Panera bakery-cafes, providing guests with a faster and more convenient experience while also simplifying operations for our associates.”
Panera also provided a statement about the menu rumors to Nation’s Restaurant News, which included a little more context:
“We always have a number of tests running across the country to identify new ways to better serve our guests, whether that’s by menu innovation, simplification or through new technology.”
The company did not name any menu items that may be leaving in either statement.
Viewer reactions in the comments section of Zach’s video were fierce, with many calling out specific menu items they didn’t want to see go.
“Are they trying to go out of business,” one viewer commented.
“Pumpkin muffin on the brink of pumpkin season is a BOLD CHOICE,” a second wrote.
“So they will have plain bagels and water?” another added.
“I work at Panera … can confirm my managers have been whispering about this for a while,” a comment read.
One person commented, “at this point, what is LEFT on their menus? they did such a cut during the 2020s that the place is unrecognizable.”
“What?!?! It’s like all the stuff people order…” another viewer said.
Update 11:05am CT, Sept. 19: “Regarding the massive response to Panera’s menu changes (whatever those changes ultimately end up being), there are multiple factors at play here,” Zach told the Daily Dot in an emailed statement.
He said it’s “completely understandable” that the company would try streamlining its menu. “That being said, if Panera ultimately does end up removing as many items as are rumored, that’s a huge change which affects a lot of regular customers in a way that almost feels personal to them,” he added. “That’s the main reason so many people are upset about it, hence why the company is testing it in such a small number of stores.”
Zach told the Daily Dot he thinks changes at diners’ favorite restaurants sometimes are accompanied by “decreases in food quality, smaller portions, and higher prices instead and those are what ultimately get patrons frustrated. That’s on top of our favorite items going away.”
He concluded by saying, “for those who are upset, regardless of the brand, please never take it out on store associates. It’s not their fault; they just work there.”
The Daily Dot contacted Panera Bread via email for more information.