Panera Hiring Overview For 2023

Founded 1980

Type Public

Headquarters St. Louis, MO

Size Large Corporation

Industry Restaurant

There’s a good chance that there’s a Panera Bread hiring nearby if you’re reading this article. Finding out if Panera hires felons is the next step! We know how hard it can be to get real information, so put your feet up and let us tell you what we learned.

We have contacted over 1,000 companies across the US to ask them directly about their hiring policy for former felons, and this includes Panera. We then take to the internet to do oodles of research on everything from what former employees say about working here to insight on the job application.

Over the course of this article, we will answer:

  1. Does Panera hire people with misdemeanors?
  2. How can I get hired at Panera with a felony?
  3. Does Panera do background checks?
  4. What entry-level jobs should you look into first?
  5. Does Panera drug test?

Our team has terrific experience helping former felons find employment and have hired several former felons ourselves. We have extensive experience volunteering in prisons and working with former offenders to get them back into the workforce faster.

Who wouldn’t want to work in a bakery? Let’s take a look at how to get hired at Panera, from application to interview. Read on!

Add your own company review

Share your experiences working for a particular company. It really helps!

Does Panera hire felons?

Confirmed felon employer

a Panera Bread restaurant location

Official company policy for hiring felons

According to the person we spoke to:

“Panera considers all job-related aspects of each candidate’s background and experience. As such, there are no specific policies or programs in place related to candidates with criminal or felony convictions.”

Has Panera hired felons in the past?

The official statement suggests you can get a job at Panera with a felony conviction and we know from other sources that they’ve hired former felons in the past.

Does Panera hire people with misdemeanors?

The Panera Bread application only asks about felonies, not misdemeanors. On top of that, our sources confirm that not only does Panera Bread hire felons, they also hire people with misdemeanors.

Will Panera hire you with pending charges?

There’s a good chance they will, as long as your record isn’t contraindicated by the job you’re applying to.

Current Job Openings At Panera

Panera Bread – Plano – Tennyson Parkway, Plano, TX Panera Bread – Plano – Tennyson Parkway is looking for full time or part time Food Runners at our location in Plano, TX. This position is for those who enjoy supporting a team of…
JOB DESCRIPTION Salad and Sandwich Maker – WillowbrookSalad and Sandwich Maker Full-time and part-timeLooking for a supportive workplace that prioritizes safety and has your back? Want to work where you can be yourself, become your best, and…

West Deptford, NJ

937 days ago

ASSOCIATE Are you a friendly, high energy, team player, that enjoys working with people? Then come join Panera Bread – an award winning leader in the restaurant industry. We are a top franchise group with great growth potential,…


Total Reviews (0)


Total Interviews (0)

What are the chances of Panera hiring a felon?

Is Panera on the Ban the Box list?

Panera Bread is not on the Ban the Box list. If a company is on this list, it means they no longer ask about convictions on their job application. Similar legislation enacted by the White House, called the Fair Chance Business Pledge, is aligned with helping former felons find jobs. While Panera Bread hasn’t signed onto this, either, they do give each applicant a fair chance.

Does Panera have special programs for hiring felons?

The statement from Panera Bread confirms they have no special programs for hiring felons. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t apply. After all, they consider applicants on a case-by-case basis.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

High likelihood of hiring felons

We believe you have a high chance of being hired at Panera Bread with a felony. Our assessment is based on the company’s official statement and feedback from Panera Bread employees. There are never any guarantees, but you have better chances here than at another company.

How to get hired at Panera with a felony

What are some entry-level jobs?

Most entry-level jobs require you to work quickly and as part of a team. It’s a fast-paced environment. A variety of shifts are offered, as well as full- and part-time work, including nights, weekends and holidays. Some positions may even ask you to work at multiple locations.

  • Sanitation Operator

Working at the Fresh Dough Facility, your job is to make sure equipment used to make dough is safe and clean for daily use. You’ll take apart equipment, clean and sanitize it, and put it back together.

This job is physical. You need to be able to lift 50 lbs and sometimes help push cabinets up to 400 lbs. This position requires you to work on a variety of tasks with limited supervision. Experience is preferred, but not required, in food manufacturing, as is knowledge of food safety and sanitation.

  • Driver

Your job is delivering orders to customers. A driver’s license, clean driving record and a vehicle you can use is required.

Drivers need to handle food safely, deliver orders quickly, treat customers with politeness and respect, and work flexible hours. You’ll also help out at the bakery. Drivers are paid competitive wages, daily mileage and tips.

  • Customer Service Associate

You are the face of Panera Bread. Being familiar with the menu and making sure customers’ needs are met in a friendly and efficient way are key. You will be part of a tip pool!

An understanding of basic food safety is important. Previous retail or food service experience is helpful, but not necessary. Depending on the location, you might also work as a cashier.

  • Line Cook

If you know basic cooking and meal preparation, this is a good position for you. Food orders must be prepared accurately and quickly.

Tips to get hired here with a felony

You can apply online or directly at the bakery-cafe with a Panera Bread application. Get your resume ready to go by looking at our guide to writing a resume as a former offender!

List any volunteer work you’re doing in the community while you’re looking for a job as well as relevant work experience. You can also add anything you did in prison, such as tutoring other inmates. The more job-specific, the better!

Our best advice is to apply directly at a bakery-cafe. It can also be helpful to sign up online for job alerts, particularly if where you want to work isn’t hiring right away.

Here are some other tips:

  • Avoid lunch and dinner rush hours when you go.
  • Be friendly and positive when you meet the hiring manager. Make a good impression before they can judge you as a former felon.
  • If they’re not hiring, ask if you can call back later. This shows you’re determined to put your best foot forward.
  • Practice answering questions about your criminal record to show you’ve learned from your mistakes.

Most importantly, get a referral. These are worth their weight in gold.

If you know someone who already works here, that’s great. If not, ask for a letter of recommendation from a former employer or a person of authority. These go a long way with employers!

Advantages of working for Panera Bread

They’re a large employer expanding rapidly across the United States and always need staff. There are interesting entry-level jobs and different working hours. On-the-job training is offered and you could be trained for more than one position. This makes it more likely you can advance in the company.

Benefits include competitive pay, a 401(k) retirement plan, paid vacation, health benefits and food and service discounts nationwide.

If you’d like to work for a family-oriented company with a great reputation and lots of opportunity for advancement, we’re confident saying you should consider Panera Bread.

Does Panera do background checks?

By law, all employers must at least confirm identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Our research shows the type of background check done is at the manager’s discretion, and also depends on the job.

Some positions have greater responsibility. For example, you might have a key if you’re working nights or you may need to open the safe to do deposits. Therefore, the manager might want to do a credit check. In the blog, Why Employers Check Credit — and What They See, it’s explained, “Employers will sometimes check credit to get an insight into a potential hire, including signs of financial distress that might indicate risk of theft or fraud.”

Here’s what you need to know about background checks:

Some states won’t look at convictions more than seven years old. However, if your offense was six years ago, you’ll want until next year to apply in these states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

Even better, there are states that don’t consider court cases were you were found not guilty. Eight states are currently on this list:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

However, there are still some states that will look at your whole record. This includes your not guilty verdicts. Be aware, if you live in one of these states, that they will see everything:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

According to, Panera Bread has quite a good rating. It rates them 3.2 out of 5 based on almost 6,000 individual employee reviews. Two thousand of these are from full-time employees, who give them a 3.6 out of 5. Fifty-three percent said they would recommend the company to a friend, and 61% approved of the CEO.

Here are a couple of examples of what people had to say:

“Flexible hours, great work environment, managers really care about their employees”

“Good work environment, great people, amazing pay.”

What felonies Panera will not hire

There are no known felonies that will make Panera immediately turn you away, but read the next section to see what charges will give you barriers.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Certain felonies could have a harder time getting hired at Panera Bread. If the job includes handling cash, Panera Bread will want to know about any theft convictions. If you’ve got driving offenses such as any DWIs, you may have difficulty becoming a Driver.

Be aware of how your record stacks up with the position’s requirements before you apply.

Does Panera hire sex offenders?

There is no information on this from the company or online to tell us what your chances are if you have sex offenses on your record. If you know, please share as a comment!

Does Panera Bread drug test?

Our research shows Panera Bread does not require a drug test for entry-level positions. In fact, the job application makes no mention of drug tests. While we can’t say for certain they will never drug test, the odds are good they won’t test you right away.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

Was this article helpful? Do you have experience on how to get a job at Panera Bread with a felony? Does Panera Bread hire people with misdemeanors? More importantly, what tips helped you the most?

Share your comments below. Good luck!

Other companies that hire felons