Panera Bread launches grocery service amid COVID-19 pandemic

You could already have your favorite Panera Bread soup delivered to your home, but the restaurant chain wants you to know you don’t have to stop there.

It launched Panera Grocery on Wednesday, a new service that enables customers to order items like milk, produce and bread. 

Customers can order groceries through Panera Bread's app and website, similar to how they may order meals from the restaurant online. Groceries can be sent via contactless delivery to a customer's home or picked up from a participating restaurant. 

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"From limited choices on grocery shelves to the growing need to limit the number of trips outside of the home, it is an incredibly stressful time when it comes to putting wholesome food on the table, and we knew Panera could help," Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary said in a news release.

The novel coronavirus put a halt to traditional dine-in business models in March. Panera Bread is just one of many restaurant chains to close its dining areas in lieu of to-go only and delivery orders.

On March 24, the "Great American Takeout" encouraged eaters to order takeout in an effort to help their favorite restaurants and eateries survive the coronavirus pandemic.

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This story was reported from Atlanta.