Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Panera's new "hidden menu"




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JenMusic
02-21-2013, 07:58 AM
Panera has 6 new meals (2 breakfast bowls, 4 lunch/dinner bowls/salads) that are lower in calories and carbs and sugar. I've always loved Panera, LOVE that they post calorie counts, but even so it can end up being a higher calorie meal. These options avoid that.

I've tried the Mediterranean Chicken Salad (360 calories, with bacon!) and the Chicken Hummus Bowl (330 calories). I liked both and wouldn't hesitate to get them again.

Both times I felt a little silly saying I was ordering off the hidden menu, but the cashiers knew what I meant and there were no problems. On my second visit, they tried to serve me the Mediterranean Salmon Salad and a worker had to explain to the food prep guy what I wanted. So it's possible some more training is needed.

I'm hoping people order these so they stay available!

Panera's Hidden Menu (http://mypanera.panerabread.com/articlestips/article/access-into-paneras-hidden-menu/)


Psychic
02-21-2013, 08:12 AM
Is the salad calories including the dressing though? Most resturaunt salads don't include the dressing in the calorie count, so you gotta add that in.

I have never been to Panerra.

CherryPie99
02-21-2013, 09:08 AM
Panera Bread ROCKS. On the hidden menu the only "dressing" they use is fresh squeezed lemon and a little olive oil.

I am excited to try the hidden menu!


newleaf123
02-21-2013, 09:48 AM
I don't understand. Why does healthy food need to be on a "hidden menu"? I checked their website and they don't seem to really explain this.

I'm sure it totally varies store to store, but I personally can't stand our local Paneras. They employ high school boys back there making the food, and it comes out looking like, well, my 13-year-old son through it together. Totally unappetizing looking, thrown together on a plate. Honestly, I'm such a mother, the last time I was there I made the boy take it back and make it again so it looked halfway appealing. I'm all about food presentation; when stuff looks slopped together and unappetizing, it honestly depresses me. I haven't gone back; that was probably 18 months ago. Hopefully they have trained their staff in the interim.

nelie
02-21-2013, 12:27 PM
Sadly, the only thing I can eat at panera is their black bean soup and I don't think that is offered every day. I used to try to get their veggie sandwich without feta but more than half of the times it'd still come with feta.

Mozzy
02-21-2013, 12:33 PM
Yay! I love panera

Pink Hurricane
02-21-2013, 01:55 PM
I love Panera LOVE LOVE LOVE Panera haha. Thank you for the post and link! I love to get the half and half, with a cup of soup and half a sandwich. Last time I went in I noticed one of my favorite sandwiches were not on the menu, but they told me they still have it. Now I see why, the hidden menu!

mimsyborogoves
02-21-2013, 04:36 PM
Why does healthy food need to be on a "hidden menu"?

I'm with you on this one, although I love Panera. A lot of restaurants have their healthier options in plain sight, and actually, the Panera Bread restaurants in my area have actually started to display the calorie contents of their items right next to them on the menu. But, I have been to places where the "healthy" options are offered on a seperate menu, like at a Taco Bell I went to the other day. Instead of having their lighter options on the big menu over the registers, they had them listed in a brochure to the side of the registers. Now, you tell me, if you really wanted people to take advantage of your healthier options/menu, why wouldn't you put it in a place that was just as easily visible as the regular items?

CherryPie99
02-27-2013, 03:38 PM
I had the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad today and it was delicious. Will be posting a review on my blog later today!

pluckypear
02-27-2013, 07:39 PM
Checked out Panera and the "hidden" menu is not available in Canada. Wtf? Oh well!

FrecklesTX
05-26-2013, 12:11 PM
Thank you! Thank you for the link!

My local Panera has a drive-thru. What an amazing fast food option! Can't wait to try this!

SuperHeroTeacher
05-27-2013, 01:11 AM
Those look delicious, and totally on plan for me! Unfortunately I don't trust myself anywhere near a Panera because I LOVE Panera bread - and bread s most definitely NOT on plan.

mimsyborogoves
05-28-2013, 09:28 AM
I have a question -- how do they expect this "hidden" menu to sell if it's, well, "hidden" and nobody knows about it? I honestly didn't even know it existed until I came on here, and I always forget about it when I actually go to Panera. I don't see why it's a problem for them to just have it on display or in a brochure/pamphlet or something if there's no room on the big menu on the wall. They should at least advertise it in the restaurant.

PreciousMissy
05-28-2013, 05:42 PM
I have a question -- how do they expect this "hidden" menu to sell if it's, well, "hidden" and nobody knows about it? I honestly didn't even know it existed until I came on here, and I always forget about it when I actually go to Panera. I don't see why it's a problem for them to just have it on display or in a brochure/pamphlet or something if there's no room on the big menu on the wall. They should at least advertise it in the restaurant.

I agree with you...just put it on the menu!

Who knows, maybe it's a marketing ploy, like Starbucks and In-N-Out have their own secret menus :shrug:

Wannabeskinny
05-29-2013, 08:41 AM
I don't get it, why does it have to be hidden? If I order it do I have to hide too? Is there a secret dining room where it has to be eaten? Is there a codeword?

devadiva
05-29-2013, 08:42 AM
Is it secret ? I saw it posted on Pintrest.Just retread it was an article re posted from Self and yes it is hidden called Power meals.

NemesisClaws
05-29-2013, 09:38 AM
Huh...had no idea Panera had a hidden menu. Goodness. I adore Panera sandwiches, especially the Cuban sandwiches, and I'm in heaven when I go there. I was really disappointed when they took my favorite smoothie off the menu. All the smoothies now have yogurt in them, and I can't handle yogurt. Sighs.

celigirl88
06-05-2013, 09:10 AM
I absolutely LOVE Panera, and I'm surprised I never knew about this menu. I usually get the "you pick 2" - caesar salad and broccoli cheddar soup. After averaging in all the calories, it's great for a meal. Plus it keeps me FULL so I'm not hungry a couple hours later like I usually am after eating sometimes. I will have to look into this hidden menu!

fitmom
06-08-2013, 11:25 AM
I actually saw an article about this on their website. I love their food but was happy to see some healthier choices. Will definitely have to try some of these menu items.

pixie3208
06-11-2013, 03:51 AM
This is my guess.
Its just coined hidden menu. Basically these are healthier options (lots of panera is healthy and ALWAYS fresh to begin with!) but they are not necessarily popular items (Yet!) So to put them on the menu would take money that would raise prices. Why raise prices even by a few cents when they can just inform people via web. It makes it a little fun to to order off a hidden menu. Your in on the secret that people around you have no clue about. Order away and make those items popular enough to hit the menus!

Andrea85
07-01-2013, 04:43 PM
I've tried a few of these, and while they tasted good, I am not impressed by how Panera handles these orders. I've gone to a few different locations and not a single person knew how to place the order, the prices were a bit higher (and the dishes seemed smaller), and they messed up one of the salads. I like these options but would prefer them just on the menu so the employees can place the order and I can know what I'm paying!

mimsyborogoves
07-10-2013, 08:11 PM
I ordered the roasted turkey salad after asking for the hidden menu, and the cashier looked at me like she had no idea what I was talking about. I had to point it out to her on the menu! I thought the salad was good, but it really needed dressing. I'm sorry, but salad to me just is not good unless it's got some kind of moisture on it. It's too dry otherwise. I tried putting lemon juice on it but it didn't really help a lot. I also missed having my gala apple with my meal too! They could at least include that. I think I'll just stick to ordering off the regular menu -- they already have the calorie counts on display for everything anyway!

Amy Remixed
07-19-2013, 05:48 PM
I went to a restaurant where the menu had a section called "Super Secret Menu" but nothing was listed. My friend said to our waitress, "I want something from the Super Secret Menu." "I'm sorry sir you cannot." He got all huffy and asked "Why?!" "It's our kids menu."

Thanks for the info on the Panera options. I'll have to check it out.

Amy Remixed
08-10-2013, 11:16 PM
I had the chicken hummus bowl today for lunch. Delicious! Healthy!