Panera’s New Tech Might Change the Face of Fast Food

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Panera Bread, a national fast food powerhouse known for its soups and breads, has aimed its sights at a technological future. The company, led by CEO Ron Shaich, is transitioning its stores from a tradition of long lines and cash registers to automated ordering kiosks with smart phone applications.

While it may seem like everything we know and love is soon going to be built with smart phone applications, most see this change as a positive one. The biggest issue discussed at fast food industry conferences each year is long waiting lines; in fact, the likes of Pizza Hut and Chipotle are considering making a similar change.

And for those worried about the implications on the job market, it shouldn't be a problem, at least for Panera. Shaich claims no jobs will be lost through the transition, as those previously working the registers will now be utilized preparing food or delivering dishes to the tables.

Overall, this change doesn't come as much of a surprise; it was only a matter of time before fast food caught on to modern technology. You can finally order a chicken noodle bread bowl from your car and have it ready when you walk in the door. I wouldn't even be surprised if a drone brought me the soup five years down the line, either.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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