Panera Bread Expands Kids' Menu

CEO challenges leading restaurant executives to join him in eating from their kids' menus exclusively for seven straight days.

Panera Bread recently announced that it will offer nearly all of its entrees in a smaller size for kids. The new kids’ menu features nearly 250 “clean” combinations without artificial ingredients, toys or sugary drinks. Prices range from $4.59 to $7.89. As a result of the menu change, Panera Bread now has the largest “clean” kids’ menu than any other national restaurant chain.

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread’s CEO, also released a video asking fast food restaurants to consider their own menus. To spark further dialogue for change, Shaich challenged leading restaurant industry CEOs to join him in eating from their kids menus exclusively for seven straight days.

In August 2016, Panera issued its Kids Meal Promise to express the company’s long-held beliefs. The promise is meant to be a challenge to the restaurant industry and to all food manufacturers who offer kids food. The five tenets of the Kids Meal Promise include:

Clean. No artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners or colors from artificial sources in any menu item

No marketing gimmicks. No cartoon characters, crazy colors, toys or toy-shaped food.

Real options. Let kids be kids. Let them be picky. Let them make their own choices from a menu full of tasty, wholesome options.

Nutritiously paired. Growing bodies need a meal complete with nutritious sides. Not fries, not onion rings. Options such as organic yogurt, sprouted grain rolls, apples or no side at all.

No sugar-laden drinks as part of a meal. Kids meals shouldn’t be bundled with a sugary drink.

 “For too long, restaurants in America have served menus full of nutritionally empty chicken nuggets, pizza and fries, paired with sugary drinks and cheap toys," Shaich says. "We believe kids must come first. As a parent, I’m proud that I could eat off the Panera kids menu and still enjoy delicious and wholesome meals. I’m challenging the CEOs of some of the largest companies in the industry — McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s—to personally eat exclusively from their restaurants’ kids meals for an entire week—and if not, to take a thoughtful look at what they are offering our smallest guests."

Source: Panera Bread