Does Panera Bread Hire Felons?

When entering back into the world it can be hard for a felon to find their grounding. There are many things which one needs to do, such as find a job.

A good starting point is to find a company that is actively hiring. The restaurant industry is a great place to begin the job search.

Throughout the United States there are many Panera restaurants. A Panera location near you may have a sign mentioning that they are hiring.

This may leave you wondering, does Panera Bread hire felons?

does panera bread hire felons

If working for Panera does not interest you there are plenty of restaurants and other companies out there that are willing to hire ex-convicts. If working for the company interests you, continue reading to find out more information.

Panera Bread Company

does panera bread hire felon

Believe it or not, Panera actually began as a small cookie store in Boston, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1980 as a 400-square foot shop, Panera is now a recognized restaurant brand from coast-to-coast and in Canada.

The first name for the company was a french name. Au Bon Pain which means “from good bread” In English. In the mid 1990s founder, Ron Shaich was attracted to the idea of offering more of an experience. This is when the company took on the name of Panera Bread Company. The bakery-cafe now has over 2,300 locations and 140,000 associates. There are also still Au Bon Pain bakery-cafes.

Panera adapts to customer’s needs. The company is innovative and always looking for new ideas. Most recently the company has focused on clean food, digital sales, and delivery systems. With over 2,300 locations there are numerous jobs opportunities at Panera. More on this later though.

The company believes that good food is the foundation of a good community. The company partners with a large amount of organizations that work towards creating a better community. Some of these organizations deal with fundraising while others take donations to help fight hunger.

Does Panera sound like a company you would be interested in working for? Keep reading to learn about the various job opportunities as well as what the application process would be like.

Job Opportunities

There are plenty of job opportunities available through the Panera Bread Company. Some that are entry-level and some that may take more expertise.

The environment at many Panera locations has been described as family-like. The company prides itself on providing a place of warmth, growth, and trust.

Let’s take a closer look at some jobs that Panera has to offer.

Restaurant Team Member

does the panera bread hire a felon

There are various positions that fall under the broad category of restaurant team member. All of these positions require a great sense of communication.

One of these positions would be a line cook. This is a great job to apply for if you enjoy cooking and if you work well under pressure. This position requires you to be a team player and for you to properly follow food safety procedures.

Another position would be a cashier. This position requires great people and communication skills. You will be the face of Panera in this position. You would take the customers order and process the customers form of payment. This position also requires a sense of food safety procedures.

Restaurant Delivery Drivers

does panera bread hire a felons

Delivery is a new service that the company offers. This means as a delivery driver, your job is very important.

As a delivery driver you would need good time management skills. You must deliver customer’s food promptly and properly!

You also need to have good communication skills. You will be working with both co-workers and customers in order to make sure the experience is the best it can be.

These are just a few entry-level positions. There are many other jobs available that one can apply for.

As a company, Panera leaves room for growth for their employees. Meaning, just because you begin in an entry-level position, does not mean that you have to stay in that position. Manager positions may be available at your location. You can also potentially move beyond in store positions, such as working for Panera Bread Company headquarters.

All of the positions at Panera offer benefits to being an employee. For instance, some benefits are available such as medical, dental, vision, & life insurance. Panera offers competitive wages as well as discounts on Panera meals.

If any of these jobs sound interesting to you, keep reading to find out more about the application process.

Application Process

does the panera bread hire a felons

If you are ready to start working for a team that truly cares, it is time to apply to Panera. You can go into the closest location and fill out a paper application. You can also choose to start your application by heading directly to Panera’s official website.

Let’s go over what the online application will cover. Once you have browsed through the jobs available near you, you can choose that one that interests you the most. The website will give you a list of job tasks as well as basic requirements for the position.

The application has a few steps.

First, some basic information will be required. This information covers things like your full name, address, and email address.

You will then be asked questions regarding your education and job history. It is important to be honest while answering these questions.

The application will also ask a few person questions. This is where you should put your best foot forward. As an ex-convict it is crucial to show how far you have come since your conviction.

Panera Bread is not a part of the Ban The Box Movement. This means you will be asked if you have a criminal history. It is, again, important to be honest. This information will present itself in the background check regardless.

Panera Bread does believe in considering all aspects when reviewing an applicant. This means the hiring manager will not discard your application just because of a criminal history. If you show that you are a qualified applicant regardless of your criminal history, you may get an interview!


With over 2,300 locations there are numerous job opportunities at Panera.

Some entry-level positions are restaurant team members and delivery drivers. These job require great communication skills as well positive attitudes. Panera will not promptly discard your application just because you have a criminal history. All aspects will be considered by a hiring manager.

While applying for jobs it is important to always remember that your past does not have to define your future. If working for Panera Bread does not interest you, there are plenty of other opportunities out there for felons.

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