Purpose 360

Panera puts purpose where its mouth is

Episode Summary

While at Panera, Jonathan Yohannan ran major decisions by his 10-year-old daughter. Why? He wanted to make sure the company was doing right by its customers. This kind of thinking helped Yohannan navigate challenges on Panera’s path to an “all clean” menu. All in pursuit of a clear purpose: Food as it should be.

Episode Notes

During his time at Panera, Jonathan Yohannan, former Vice President, Public Relations*, saw the company’s shift to an all-clean menu. No preservatives. No antibiotics. No artificial ingredients.

Just clean food. Food as it should be.

That’s Panera’s purpose today, and it’s especially commendable given how price-competitive fast casual chains are. While more chains are adding healthy choices to their menus and eliminating “bad” ingredients, none have completely overhauled their menus like Panera did.

These changes are not just to benefit Panera. The company and its founder and former CEO, Ron Shaich, have been vocal about shifting the industry’s approach to food. “Food as it should be” isn’t just about what’s served at Panera, but the options every consumer has, anywhere they eat.

Here are some of the insights Yohannan shared in this episode:

Resources + links

*Yohannan now serves as SVP, Integrated Communications at KIND Snacks.