The Wall Street Journal: Panera Bread solves problem of long lines with mobile app

Long lines at lunch should make restaurant chains happy. But not at Panera Bread Co.

Seven years ago, customers at the popular sandwich-and-soup chain had to wait in line for up to eight minutes to place an order. Then they had to stand in what Chief Executive Ron Shaich called a “mosh pit” of people waiting for their food. Ten percent of the time, the orders were wrong, the company said.

The St. Louis-based chain PNRA, -0.08% of more than 2,000 restaurants realized it had to rethink its service model — and found online ordering was the answer.

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