Panera Bread isn’t coming to Andover yet

WICHITA — Andover residents often wish for more restaurants in their backyard, and Panera Bread is tops on that list for some.

Is there a chance it’ll happen?

“I suspect it’ll be as soon as they have a daytime population,” says Panera franchisee Randy Simon.

Simon says a Panera needs to see 800 people a day “in order to be economical at all.”

“If you go into areas that don’t have much daytime population, it is very difficult to try to survive.”

The problem with Andover, Simon says, is so many residents drive to Wichita for work.

“We do 85 percent of our business between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.,” Simon says.

Andover residents shouldn’t give up hope, though.

“I continue to talk to people out there,” Simon says.

Simon is working with his Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers partners — his brother, Bill, and Scott Redler — on two new Kansas City area restaurants.

One is in Lee’s Summit on Highway 50 between Southwest Third Street and Northwest Chipman Road. The other is in Overland Park at West 107th Street and Roe Avenue.

The partners closed on the Overland Park land Monday. They’ll lease the Lee’s Summit space as long as they can get a drive-through.

“They’ll both get under construction as soon as we can get the plans approved,” Simon says.

If all goes well, they’ll open the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Back home in Wichita, the partners are close to moving into their new corporate headquarters at 260 N. Rock Road, which is across the parking lot from the Freddy’s restaurant at 310 N. Rock Road.

The planned move-in date is Dec. 13.