Panera Bread Group Experience

Team: Kudzai Chinyadza, Andy Hunsucker, Jordan Jalles

Responsibilities: Sketching, Ideation, Storytelling, Video animation

Overview

This project was completed for Sapient Nitro who asked us to create an experience for Panera Bread. The prompt gave us 5 days to create an omnichannel experience for personal engagements between Panera Bread and their customers.

Problem

During this project, we were tasked with coming up with new ideas for Panera Bread. They have recently redesigned their restaurants to allow customers to order from in store kiosks or from their smartphone, rather than go to the counter. They offer customers the ability to order food ahead of time to have it ready when they arrive, or even order food directly to their table. Their goal is to personalize the restaurant experience for their customers.

Methodology

  • Visiting Panera restaurants
  • Interviews with Panera customers
  • Heuristic analysis of Panera app and website

Major Insights

  • Panera customers were very loyal
  • Customers also frequently used Panera as a weekly hangout for their friend groups
  • Panera found personalization options desirable for their customers.

Iterations

 This concept explores how we might allow customers to buy food for others in the restaurant, based on the idea that drivethrough customers will sometimes buy food for the person behind them, starting a chain where customers continually buy food for others.

This concept explores how we might allow customers to buy food for others in the restaurant, based on the idea that drivethrough customers will sometimes buy food for the person behind them, starting a chain where customers continually buy food for others.

Buy For Other

Goal - Give patrons the option to buy food for others in the restaurant, hopefully making Panera feel more like a community.

Result - While the idea was technically feasible, we ultimately decided that existing groups were a more interesting area, as these groups already existed, yet they weren't supported in the existing infrastructure.

 This concept imagines how users might let Panera know where they are when they arrive with a group order. Here, cute animals are used to name the tables, rather than numbers.

This concept imagines how users might let Panera know where they are when they arrive with a group order. Here, cute animals are used to name the tables, rather than numbers.

Organizing Groups

Goal - Once we selected groups as a focus, it became more of an organizational problem. We needed a way to help groups find each other in the space, but also have food arrive to the same place. This had to work for both in person ordering, and online ordering.

Result - Here we attempted to add some fun to the proceedings, but as it didn't really match anything else in Panera, we soon moved back to the basic table number concept that already works for restaurants.

 An early sketch of our group experience and how different entries into the experience might look.

An early sketch of our group experience and how different entries into the experience might look.

Group Code

Goal - We realized that with Paneras online features, that users had many different ways to order ahead or on the day of the event. Here we explore how users could order at different times, through different methods, and still have their food at the same time.

Result - We eventually shifted our focus to groups of close friends who would plan an event ahead of time. This way, each user could order their food under the event itself, which would be ready at a particular time. This would help with planning for the restaurant, and please customers who had a regular appointment. If no one ordered food under the event, it would be cancelled. 

Reflection

This was a one week project. The main thing I learned from this project was to leave enough time for project documents review. I felt that the concept was strong, but unfortunately, the time constraints meant that the video we created had to be turned in as-is. The timing wasn't quite accurate, and it moved too quickly for the reviewers to understand. The video above has been re-timed for clarity.

One other thing I learned was how to really work at a design idea to find the correct user group and solution for that group. We worked very hard at pairing a user group with a solution, and vice versa. Our original solution didn't really click until we understood that our user group was actually groups of close friends, who would feel comfortable sharing costs and trusting that their friends would split the bill accurately.