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Pursuing Growth in a Weak Economy

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1. What is Panera Bread’s strategy? Which of the five generic competitive strategies discussed in Chapter 5 most closely fit the competitive approach that Panera Bread is taking? What type of competitive advantage is Panera Bread trying to achieve?

2. What does a SWOT analysis of Panera Bread reveal about the overall attractiveness of its situation? Does the company have any core competencies or distinctive competencies?

3. What are the primary components of Panera Bread’s value chain?

4. What does the data in case Exhibit 1 reveal about Panera Bread’s financial performance? How well is the company doing financially? Use the financial ratios in Table 4.1 of Chapter 4 as a guide in doing the calculations needed to arrive at an analysis-based answer to your assessment of Panera’s recent financial performance. In addition to the ratios in Table 4.1, there are occasions when you will also need to calculate compound average growth rates (CAGR) for certain financial measures. The formula for calculating CAGR (in percentage terms) is as follows:

CAGR % = [ending value ÷ beginning value] 1/n – 1 x 100
(where n = the number of year-to-year or period-to-period changes)

5. What does the data in case Exhibit 2 reveal about Panera Bread’s operating performance?

6. What does the data in case Exhibit 7 reveal about Panera Bread’s 3 business segments?

7. Based on the information in case Exhibit 3, which fast-casual and full-service restaurant chains appear to be Panera’s closest rivals?

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