Start Date: 10/28/2004
Current Position: General Manager
Original Position: Night Associate
In Michelle's Words:
"I’m not a desk job kind of person. I need to be on my feet and moving, which is why I love the restaurant business. I love having a routine, yet having every day be different at the same time. If you are looking for a company to move up in or call a second family; Panera is the one for you. Here are my reasons why:
I have been with this Panera franchise since November 2004. I started in the Dubuque store when it first opened. I was just a night associate while going to college and working another part-time job. I graduated from community college with an Associate Arts Degree. I continued to work for Panera after graduating and moved to day side shifts and ended up being the bakery opener five days a week. I loved having my regular customers in the morning and for the most part a set schedule. As time went on, I started to take on more responsibilities as an associate. My managers saw this a decided to train me to be a shift supervisor.
As a shift supervisor, you get to the store’s day-to-day operations. You have varying shifts, but you still have your regular customers, some of which you see twice a day. I loved it! You could have part of their order ready for them, which they loved. When I would go out and about in town and see my regular customers I felt comfortable saying hi and having a conversation with them. After being a shift manager for a while, I took on some more responsibilities toward being an assistant manager.
Once you are an assistant manager, you still get to the run the day to day operations and see your regular customers, but you also have duties such as scheduling, training, or repairs and maintenance. You get to travel sometimes to help out in other stores, which I like because you can learn new ideas or ways of doing things. Panera has set standards, but each cafe will implement them a little differently, since each cafe is set-up a little differently. Recently, I was promoted to General Manager for the North Ankeny cafe, which I am loving.
For me Panera is like a second family. In Dubuque, where I started, the other managers were members of my family and the associates were like the kids I never had. We could count on one another and have each others backs. It was nice to be working with one manager for so long that we new what the other one was thinking, so running shifts together worked very well for us.
Now that I live in Ankeny, I still keep in contact with my old store. I like to know if anything has happened to any of our long time associates or regular customers. I also reach out to them, or any member of the Panera family for advice if I need it."
Start Date: 2/6/2012
Current Position: Assistant Manager
Original Position: Associate
I began at Panera in February of 2012. From day one with Planet Bread, Panera taught me that guest experience and customer satisfaction were two of the biggest pillars of the company. I started as an associate and was welcomed into a new environment by my fellow managers and associates. What began as a job to fill my free time, has now turned into my career. Working as an Assistant Manager in Waterloo, has enabled me to pass on Panera's Cultural Values to the people that come into our café every day. Being a part of Panera, means I can have a meaningful impact on the community around the café, as well as the employees and guests inside. I would definitely recommend this company for someone looking for a challenging, yet rewarding career.