It was just a few months ago I wrote I was Married to Panera. It’s not because of the Wi-Fi, I bring my own.
Everyone looked forward to gatherings and workshops at Panera U. It had become a cult classic and the environment for business meetings was great as we gathered and worked. Word spread far and wide, from Connecticut to New Mexico and points in between.
When we hold workshops at 6:30 AM, I’m sure the crowd of a dozen or more makes a profitable hour. Often, the workshop breaks up and folks have conveniently setup meetings with others, adding to the tally.
Several weeks ago, I shared with the franchise owner and marketing director how to read feeds when I found this story. They shrugged it off and said if people didn’t like it, they could go to Starbucks. Ouch!
A little over a week ago, my friend and customer Doug Mitchell had a bit of a challenge with "my" Panera. It hurt seeing two parties I love have an out and I alerted the folks at Panera with an email, saying in part:
"…since we share a dilemma, what are we going to do about this? If my customers – our customers – continue to complain to me about your restaurant, I’ll have little alternative but to find a different place to convene."
No response. Not to Doug. Not to me. What am I to do? That’s easy for me. I’m growing to fond Starbucks, Amici’s, Caribou, Bella Beans, Java G’s, The Village Bean, Friedrichs…but I’m a relationship nut and don’t break them easily. Suggestions anyone?
All I was hoping for was a response to Doug. Instead, all we got was this:
Photo on Flickr by avantard