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Viral TikTok video ‘exposes’ Panera food that comes pre-packaged, frozen

In 2019, a girl said she was fired after posting a similar video that ‘exposed’ Panera’s mac and cheese.


Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

If there’s one thing people on TikTok love, it’s watching employees of chain restaurants expose the not-so-great secrets behind how certain beloved dishes are made. And the latest restaurant on the chopping block is Panera Bread… again.

The video in question managed to rack up nearly 200,000 likes before being deleted by its creator, who is presumably a Panera employee.

It didn’t go in depth into how foods are made like some of these popular TikTok videos do, but in touring the food prep area of the restaurant, it revealed what looks to be frozen soups getting heated up, along with pre-packaged and potentially thawing chicken and macaroni and cheese.

This isn’t the first time Panera has been the subject of a TikTok exposé. In 2019, a user by the name of @briannaraelenee claims she lost her job at the bakery-café after her video showing how Panera makes its mac and cheese went viral enough that it ended up on the local news.

Bri’s video shows the macaroni undergoing a similar treatment as the soups in the latest TikTok—going from frozen to getting heated up in boiling water while in their individual serving size plastic bags.

Some viewers pointed out at the time that this isn’t an uncommon way to prep food at chain restaurants, especially ones that serve a number of customers.

Yet more and more franchises seem intolerant of employees posting these types of videos to TikTok, despite the fact that firing them could easily bring more negative attention than the employees, many of whom are teens or young adults, sharing behind-the-scenes footage that doesn’t really take many viewers by surprise. 

In other words, as the lone comment on the repost of the recent Panera video points out, even with frozen soups, “Panera still slaps.”

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