Fast casual restaurant chain Panera Bread has launched a ‘Drive-Through Pick-Up’ across all its US locations from 1 June 2023.

The company noted that the new feature will combine the digital ordering experience with the comfort and convenience of the drive-through window.

With this rollout, guests can now place their orders via the Panera app or website and collect them at the drive-through by simply saying their names at the window.

Panera Bread channels and guest experience senior vice-president Chris Correnti said: “Panera pioneered the idea of digital ordering in the restaurant industry, and for years, our guests have loved the option to order ahead and pick their items up on the ‘Rapid Pick-Up’ shelf.

“Now we’re extending that convenience to the drive-through, giving our guests another fast and convenient way to get their favourite Panera meal.”

The company added that the Panera bakery-cafes featuring the ‘Drive-Through Pick-Up’ option will still offer the traditional drive-through experience with the ability to order at the drive-through screen.

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Panera noted that it would continue to invest in the digital guest experience creating new ways to order and receive food, including in-cafe kiosks, rapid pick-up and contactless dine-in.

In August 2022, Panera Bread initiated artificial intelligence (AI) technology trials at its drive-through lanes to improve its guest’s experience.

It trialled OpenCity’s voice AI ordering technology, ‘Tori’, at two bakery-cafes in New York.