There are quite a number of fast-food chains in the USA and we love all of them. When you think of fast-food, you automatically think of burgers, French fries and fried food. This is no longer enough, however, for the more refined American taste-buds. This can been seen in the growing selection of fast-food restaurants. Fast-food is often associated with unhealthy foods, but food prepared quickly doesn’t always have to mean fatty, greasy and unhealthy. 

The idea of a healthy fast-food chain came to Ken Rosenthal and he made his dreams a reality in 1987 when he opened “St. Louis Bread” in Kirkwood, Missouri. To this date this is also the only franchise that still carries this chain’s former name. 

In 1993, St. Louis Bread was sold to Au Bon Pain Co. St. Louis Bread kept its name until 1997 before being changed to Panera Bread. The name stems from the Italian word for bread (pane) and time (era). The Compass Group North America took over Panera Bread (as well as Au Bon Pain Co.) in 1997. The chain did not in this case, however, change its name. 

Its delicious menu – all about the bread – is so popular with Americans that the company has opened more than 1800 bakery branches in 40 U.S. states. In 2008, Panera Bread even expanded into Canada. In Elyria, Ohio, the company celebrated opening its 2000th store in March 2016. 

Panera Bread continues to expand and grow in popularity. The chain’s popularity can be linked to America’s love of fast-food as well as the growing trend in the states to buy healthier foods. This has become an important topic for consumers in the last decades. In 2008, Health magazine gave Panera Bread, according to a study, the title of healthiest fast-food chain restaurant.

Panera Bread Fast Food YR 7Panera bread offers a wide selection of breads such as bagels, baguettes, sandwiches and paninis as well as fresh salad, soups, coffee and a variety of teas. The menu offers “fast” food that is “healthy” at the same time. This combination of quickness and health can only come from the USA – the land of unlimited fast-food possibilities!

In order to keep-up with customer satisfaction, Panera Bread also continues to develop itself to adapt to the times. Customers, for example, can now order at Panera Bread via an app. Since 2014, the company resigned the way it takes orders and its so-called “Panera 2.0” idea means customers can order from their iPads instead of lining up. There are also apps which allow customers to make their orders and pay online.

Not that you need another reason to move to the USA, but: Panera Bread is only in the USA (and in Canada, but who’s counting?)! Do you want to make your American Dream come true and experience things in a place like none-another in this world? Then don’t let the chance to apply to the Green Card Lottery DV-18 pass you by and register for the lottery today!

Official Name: Panera Bread

Official Website:

Established: 1987 

Founder: Ken Rosenthal 

First store: 1987 (Kirkwood, Missouri) 

Current Slogan: Food as it should be 


  • 1987: The first store opened (named “St. Louis Bread” at that time)
  • 1993: Company sold to Au Bon Pain Co.
  • 1997: The company is given the name “Panera Bread”
  • 1999: Company is sold to the Compass Group North America
  • 2009 and 2012: Panera Bread received awards for being the most healthy fast-food option, for having the best salad and for having the best setting (from the restaurant rating service “Zagat”)
  • 2016: Store number 2000 was opened in in Elyria, Ohio.


  • 1987 - 2000: Kirkwood, Missouri
  • 2000 - 2010: Richmond Heights, Missouri
  • 2010 - Today: Sunset Hills, Missouri