Aya Academy of Excellence

Five Things Schools Can Learn from Panera

Five Things Schools Can Learn from Panera

My daughter and I stopped into our local Panera and while there it hit me: schools could take a few pointers from this upscale bakery.

1. Panera treats everyone like Norm from Cheers. Each and every associate greets each and every customer. When children walk through the halls, are the faculty and staff speaking amongst themselves or engaging with their students?

2. Signage is everywhere. The core values of Panera are clearly evident. Fresh ingredients, attention to detail, cleanliness and presentation are the hallmarks of this eatery. Will a quick walk down the corridor at your local school convey the mission and vision of the school?

3. I spoke with the manager prior to leaving the restaurant. I was jntrigued with their communication tool – a spiral-bound notebook with daily checklist procedures. Each shift, their management is expected to perform a list of procedures whichever include inventory, set-up and housekeeping. Notes are left between shifts to keep the fluidity of management between shifts and resources are checked nightly to ensure they are adequately stocked. The impact resulting from this level of organizational investment from a school administration would be momentous. To start this task, a school would just monitor it’s daily operations for a span of a few weeks, evaluate its practices and then develop a checklist of procedures.

The best of schools have already dedicated themselves to establishing a culture in accordance to the ‘Panera Path.’ An investment in stakeholder relationship building, consistency of core value sharing and development of a cogent communication and procedure system can bring forth a tremendous impact with a school.

Panera, cheers to you!


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  1. So simple yet it won’t happen. How glorious it would be if the powers that be took the time to re-org. Thanks for posting.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago

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