WICHITA — More than one diner has bemoaned the lack of drive-throughs at Wichita’s Panera Bread restaurants, but Randy Simon would like to change that.
The franchisee is working with neighbors and the city to add a drive-through at his Panera at 1605 N. Rock Road, which he thinks he might be able to do by February.
Panera has retrofitted about 90 of its stores with drive-throughs. The first was in Missouri several years ago, and the chain tested it for a couple of years before expanding to other Paneras.
Simon says his first drive-through retrofit was eight months ago in Independence, Mo.
“It has increased the sales and not distracted from the execution of the concept.”
He built his Derby Panera with a drive-through, but Simon now has to figure out a way to make the additions work at his other Paneras.
He’s talking with his landlord at his Panera near Central and Hillside.
“There seems to be just a little glimmer of a possibility that we could do something with that store,” Simon says. “Basically, it’s almost like creating a second restaurant.”