Panera Bread

Bakery chain relies on geofencing

Panera is breaking new ground in the Corona crisis.
Imago Images / ZUMA Wire
Panera is breaking new ground in the Corona crisis.

The Panera bakery café chain is launching a curbside service in Corona times that allows guests to pick up their orders conveniently by car. The company is using a new geofencing technology for this purpose. This automatically informs the restaurant staff when the customer drives up in front of the building.

To this end, Panera has extended the radius of its WiFi network to a larger area around the restaurants. If a customer orders via the Curbside service, the staff receive an automatic notification as soon as the customer is within the WiFi radius and can deliver the order directly to the car. In order for the Panera staff to know which order belongs to which customer, they enter the make, model and colour of their car under the menu item "special instructions" for each order.

"Our latest technology and Wi-Fi capabilities, combined with enhanced security measures in our bakery cafes, make Panera Curbside a seamless way to continue to enjoy the Panera experience," said Panera CEO Niren Chaudary. "We prioritize safety and comfort for our guests and hope to bring a part of the Panera experience to them.

To promote the new service, Panera is offering a discount of 5 US-Dolars on every order of $20 or more until the end of the month. Digital distribution currently accounts for 65 percent of sales, according to the company.

What does geofencing mean?
The term geofencing refers to a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, WLAN or mobile phone signals to trigger a predefined action when a mobile device or RFID tag crosses a virtual geographic boundary (geofence). Depending on the configuration, the action triggered by geofencing can be a push notification, text message or warning message. In addition, geofencing is also used to control and track vehicles in the logistics industry or livestock in agriculture. (Source: Computerwoche)