Panera Bread is reportedly making significant changes to its corporate structure as its parent company Panera Brands prepares for an initial public offering (IPO).
The company will be laying off approximately 17% of its 1,800 corporate staff, focusing on support-staff roles, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Wednesday (Nov. 1), citing an internal message it saw.
The move is part of an effort to streamline operations and improve efficiency, according to the report.
In a statement provided to PYMNTS, Panera Bread said: “To best position the company for the future and continually approve our guest experience, Panera is taking steps to simplify our operations. To fully enable this simplified model, we have made some difficult decisions to better align our support structure with our strategy.”
Panera Brands CEO José Alberto Dueñas said this move will streamline the company and enable general managers at restaurants to operate more effectively, according to the WSJ report.
Panera Bread was a public company for over 25 years until it was taken private in 2017 by European investment firm JAB Holdings in a $7.16 billion deal, the report said. Now, Panera Brands is preparing to go public again, potentially as early as next year, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
In May, the company announced that it generated $4.8 billion in sales during its 2022 fiscal year across its 3,852 locations, per the report.
Dueñas became Panera Brands CEO in July after serving as Einstein’s president and CEO since 2019, according to the Bloomberg report. His appointment was one of several changes made in anticipation of the company’s planned IPO, per the report.
When announcing that change in May, Panera Brands said it was doing to prepare for its “eventual IPO.”
Dueñas succeeded Niren Chaudhary, who became chairman of the company. At the same time, the firm said that Patrick Grismer, former Starbucks chief financial officer and then-Panera Brands independent director, would become chairman of the audit committee.
Panera Brands said at the time that these moves would establish its “next generation of CEO leadership and board governance in preparation for its eventual IPO.”