Last week I stopped at a nearby Panera and got their very tasty, decent-sized danish-looking danish. This week I went to my usual Panera (not the same location) at around 2:30 in the afternoon. While usually the pastry case is pretty depleted by then, what I saw instead was a bunch of cupcake looking danish with about 1/3 to 1/2 the normal about of pastry, as well as some really small scones--same price as last week (nearly $3). Their cinnamon rolls have been replaced with rolls cut out of a pan--looked appealing, so I got one of those, but think volume has decreased from their old size as well.
Reading comments here, it sounds like Panera's new ownership is making cutbacks without realizing how it will alienate customers, thinking its "cache" is enough to keep people coming even if the portions are shrinking.
While I have always like the ambiance of the stores I've gone to, that's not the main reason I went. The food was good and I could get a sweet sweet, or a light lunch, that was enough to fill me up, along with a good cup of coffee.
When I mentioned to management that the puny pastries were enough for me to go to another store, she seemed really annoyed (probably fielding complaints all day on this) and said all the stores have been given this new food directive--recast the pastries a lot smaller, basically. I told her it wasn't another Panera I'd be looking for....
Product or Service Mentioned: Panera Bread Pastry.
Reason of review: Bad quality.