Monday, December 4, 2023

Panera Bread Co.'s First Day in Oxford

Panera Bread, a drive-thru bakery cafe, has nearly 2,000 locations and its newest one opened today for breakfast to dinner in Oxford at 1902 W. Jackson Ave. Here is some first to know info about the new restaurant.
“We are excited about our continued growth with a drive-thru bakery-cafe into Oxford, MS. We are so happy to be a part of the Oxford community, and team up with University of Mississippi Foundation,” said Adam Jackson, COO of Capital Dough, the franchisee that brought Panera to Mississippi.
The restaurant opened at 9 a.m. Wednesday with a celebration. There was a beanbag throwing game with a bright Ole Miss board as early risers gathered at Panera Bread Co.’s doors as some tested the new drive-thru. By afternoon, even Wendy’s parking next door was filled with cars as more people jumped up on the short ledge on their way to Panera.
Within a few hours of its opening, there were lines gathered at the registers, take-out order counter and the drive-thru. The crowd was diverse from college students to retirees. The employees had hand-crafted name tags as they handed out free samples of carrot cakes, blueberry cupcakes and shortbread cookies.

Panera Bread employees Brooke and Virginia handing out the free sweet samples.
Panera Bread Co. employees Brooke and Virginia handing out the free sweet samples during the cafe’s first day of operation in Oxford. / Photos by Callie Daniels

Panera Bread teamed up with University of Mississippi Foundation to collect donations throughout today for the non-profit Opportunity Scholarship. The scholarship is a result of Chancellor Dan Jones’ desire for a program that could improve university’s commitment to increasing access to all Mississippians. It is a combination of gift aids in form of federal, state and institutional and private grants that will help cover the average cost of tuition, residence housing and an allowance for meals. Panera Bread also presented a check to University of Mississippi Foundation from donations collected during its opening events during their ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.
Panera offers specialty breads along with bagels, pastries and baked goods with hot and cold espresso beverages. The cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the hours at 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. through 9 p.m. on Sundays. The menu is wide-ranging in tastes with ingredients involving antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain breads and reportedly zero grams of artificial trans fat.
Thai chicken salad with creamy tomato soup and a sourdough bread to dip in.
Thai chicken salad with creamy tomato soup and a sourdough bread to dip in.

Panera also has comfortable seating, even the outside chairs were soft and easy to lean back on. It offers free wi-fi and its tables even have a tracking technology that allows servers to quickly locate customers.
The tables at the new Panera Bread Co. in Oxford have special tracking technology to help servers find customers faster and more efficiently.

Those with Grove tents may be interested in Panera’s catering services. The company advertises a catering coordinator on-site who will help manage the process from ordering to pickup as well as following up with customers to ensure satisfaction.
For more information come drive out to Panera Bread which is just next door to the new RedMed urgent care clinic at 1902 W. Jackson Ave.
Callie Daniels is a staff writer for For comments, criticism or story ideas email her at