There's a brand new pizza in town, friends. Panera has added three new flatbread pizza creations to its menu, a move which perfectly captures the zeitgeist of pandemic eating.
The chain is debuting the new menu category today, and the pizzas will be available in three different flavors at locations nationwide: Cheese, Margherita, and Chipotle Chicken&Bacon. They were created by Panera's newly appointed head chef Claes Petersson, who—being a Pizza Hut alum—knows a thing or two about pizza. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)
For a brand that's known for top-notch baked goods, pizza was the logical new frontier. According to a press release, the company is looking to "redefine the expectation of pizza" as it carves out a niche for itself with a thinner and crispier crust. With this addition, Panera continues to expand its array of delivery-friendly menu items.
The company has doubled its delivery business this year—which now accounts for more than half of its sales—and has ramped up its drive-thru capabilities. Chief brand and concept officer Eduardo Luz says the company expects the new pizzas to grow Panera's dinner business after years of customer requests.
Priced at $7.99, the new menu items are the size of a personal pizza. When it comes to calories, the heartiest of the three is the Chipotle Chicken pizza, which will set you back 930. While you may not want to load up on all of those calories at dinnertime, Panera suggests adding soup and salad sides to create a full shareable family meal that's lighter.
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