March 18, 2012

Oh Panera you gave my food GPS :)

     If you've been a follower of this blog you know two things for sure.

  1. I frequent Panera quite often.  
  2. I am very easily entertained.
   So when the two were combined you can imagine my happiness

  In all actuality this post is about the latest in restaurant service but it really entertained me.  Over the last year or so Panera has changed the way they serve their customers.  Originally when you placed your order at the counter and were handed a pager.  You retrieved your food when your pager went off.  Then they decided to go more personal.  When you placed your order you were given a number stand to place on your table and your food was delivered to you.  You'd see the servers walking around trying to find number 5.  I would watch as people would put the numbers on chairs, the floor, one mom had put the stand in her diaper bag.  (See I really do get entertained watching people).
     Well now my food finds my via GPS.  When you place your order you get a pager that looks like the kind that used to light up.  HOWEVER this "Table Tracker" is completely different.  You are given a device, similar to the older pagers, and told to place it your table when you sit down.  This also starts a timer on your order, the idea being your food should arrived even quicker.  When the device hits the table a number on it's top becomes illuminated.  So of course when my server found my food I had to ask how he found me.  There are strips attached to the underside of each table that transmit back to the computer in the servers area.  Back in the servers area the order and table are matched up so the servers know exactly where to go.  Just to make it even better because I am a member of Panera's loyalty club when my food was delivered I was greeted by name.
    Now come on you have to admit it GPS for your food is kinda cool.  And I'll admit that in days gone by I would have had fun moving my tracker to different tables or keep lifting it up and down just to entertain myself which would have definitely annoyed the servers.
    Oh heads up~ Panera has added 3 pastas to their menu.  Today I had the tortellini and it was really good.  The sauce wasn't incredibly heavy and the fresh herbs really set it off.  A small serving is incredibly filling.  I usually get a pick two so I partnered this up with their grilled chicken salad and barely finished either!!
   I so love Panera....


  1. I love Panera too - but can't afford to eat there very often. Apparently, it's been a LONG time since I've eaten there because the last time I went they were still using the little vibrating, light up pager thingys!!

  2. Lisa have to be honest most times I simply get a drink or a bagel.. today I was famished LOL.
    I am wondering if it depends on the store. Today I was in Ponte Vedra


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