I went to the Panera Bread Drive-Thru located in Mooresville, NC on 7262020 at approximately 4:30PM. It was my mothers birthday and as a birthday gift, I planned to purchase a Panera Bread early dinner and have it at Hope Park in Morrison Plantation (our neighborhood). We ordered two half and halves which consisted of two soups, and two half sandwiches. After receiving our order through the drive-thru, we went to the park, only to find out they had given us two forks with our meals, rather than spoons. So we packed everything back up and went to Panera Bread again. In the drive-thru line, we asked for a large water with ice. Once I placed my order, I had planned to tell the window employee about the forks. But I wanted to make a purchase of water first because it was 95 degrees outside and we had only purchased one water the first time around. When I got to the window, a young lady with blue eyes (wearing a mask) tried to hand me a small water. I then told her, I ordered a large water, like this one. I said as I raised the Panera Bread water I already had in the cup holder. She then proceeded to tell me, The large water isn’t free, with an attitude. I responded, Yes, I know it’s not free. I didn’t ask for free water, I just asked for a large iced water. I said, as I was holding out my debit card. Surprisingly, the employee stared at me and gave me a slow roll of her eyes. My husband was in the car and I looked over to him and asked him, What the heck was that all about? He shook his head in disbelief. At that point, I didn’t have the opportunity to discuss the fork issue yet. I watched as there were 3 women standing around the drink refill station. It seemed like they were discussing something. Then a woman, who acted like a manager showed up at the window and handed me the large iced water. I then tried to give her my debit card but she said it was no charge. I said, Oh, okay. Can you also please give me 2 spoons. when we came here earlier, we ordered 2 soups and received 2 forks. I tried to hand her back the forks, but of course, she said I could keep them. For some odd reason, she came back with the spoons and a whole different attitude. She handed them to me rolled in brown napkin and then proceeded to ask me, Where are you from? Massachusetts or New Jersey? I responded, I’m from New York. Then she responded, Oh, that’s what I thought. I could tell by your attitude. Have a nice day We were floored. I was so mortified. I admit us New Yorkers have a lot of for lack of a better word, bravery. But I personally don’t go out of my way to make trouble. I’m a Christian woman with a Christian husband and we try to be as nice to world as we can, because we represent God. The manager at this location, not to mention the employee, need some additional coaching.The manager and employee were unprofessional and might as well been hanging the confederate flag outside of the Panera Bread location at that point. She was being discriminatory in her discussion, against Northerners. I don’t think it was the Mangers business where I was born. That should not be a question anyone asks at the store level. They are there to service customers. My husband and I own 4 businesses and one of them is servicing public schools in NC and SC. We have been in business for 30 years now. We service our customers in a similar fashion as Chic-Fil-A. Maybe the coaching at Panera Bread, should re-evaluate their customer service training model. As a note of reference; we ordered turkey avocado sandwich with vegetable soup and grilled cheese with vegetable soup plus one large ice water, the first trip.
Better training for their employees and managers. Discrimination should be a core part of the training model. In our company discrimination is never tolerated. Needless to say, I will never go to that Panera Bread again!
Have a nice day.