I wonder about an update on Panera Bread.
— Katy G., via email
You’re not the only one, Katy. The new store opening is one of the hot topics in the Since You Asked inbox.
We can now report that Panera Bread is expected to open in Medford around February or March 2023.
Josh Thompson, COO of Panera Bread franchisee Manna Development Group, confirmed the news on Friday, two years after the company announced it would move to the corner of Highway 99 and Garfield Street. .
“I would say (to customers) thank you for their patience, and we’re really, really excited to bring Panera to them,” Thompson said.
Panera Bread was due to open in Medford earlier this year, but supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic and other economic issues have delayed the project.
Brent Hackwell, CEO of KOGAP, the restaurant’s builder, said earlier this year that it was “one of the toughest times” he had ever seen in the construction industry, with prolonged delays for heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, which delayed other parts of the project, including the roof.
But this week, Hackwell reported that KOGAP is on schedule to complete the building envelope this fall. All the parts needed for the project have arrived or are being shipped, he said.
Medford’s Panera Bread will be “the next generation” of store types, according to Thompson.
“There aren’t many – it will be one of the first in the country,” he said.
Although Panera Bread has yet to sell a single Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich in Medford, the company is already looking for managers for the site, which is expected to employ 50 to 75 people.
“We love Medford,” said Thompson, who noted he has a friend who lives here. “It has certainly grown over the years, and we think it’s a great opportunity for a Panera, that’s for sure.”
Send your questions to “Since You Asked”, Mail Tribune Newsroom, PO Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email at [email protected]