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Panera's new "hidden menu"

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default Panera's new "hidden menu"

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
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Yay! I love panera
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newleaf123 View Post
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?
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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I had the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad today and it was delicious. Will be posting a review on my blog later today!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Checked out Panera and the "hidden" menu is not available in Canada. Wtf? Oh well!
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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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!
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:11 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimsyborogoves View Post
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
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #15
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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?
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