Press Releases

Jul 25, 2019

HMSHost Inks Exclusive Deal with Panera Bread to Bring Bakery-Cafes to U.S. Travelers

Global Restaurateur and Popular Fast Casual Chain Partner for Exciting Growth in the Travel Industry

\"\"Bethesda, Md. (July 25, 2019) – Committed to providing travelers with more convenient, freshly-prepared, high-quality food choices, global restaurateur HMSHost announces an exclusive, multi-year, multi-unit development agreement with Panera Bread (Panera) that will expand the fast casual chain’s presence within major U.S. airports and travel plazas.

As part of the agreement, HMSHost will debut two new Panera airport locations, first at Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Concourse E, and soon to follow at Salt Lake City International Airport’s Concourse A in 2020. Additional airport and travel plaza locations are slated to open throughout 2020 and beyond.

“At HMSHost, we’re leaders in expanding travelers’ dining options with the most in-demand, unmatched choices. With Panera Bread as our exclusive partner, we are transforming the fast casual category in airports and motorways across the United States,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “Traveling consumers have been clamoring for Panera Bread to expand into airports and motorways. With this agreement, we are answering that demand for travelers seeking craveable, better-for-you food, delivered fast and efficiently.”

Travelers will enjoy Panera’s classic menu of freshly-prepared salads, hand-crafted sandwiches, hearty soups, creamy mac and cheese, and the famed and foodie favorite bread bowls, as well as an array of breakfast offerings ranging from breakfast wraps to Panera’s beloved bakery items. The airport locations will also feature grab-and-go versions of many of Panera’s menu offerings. Perfect for globetrotters who love to customize their food adventures, the menu will feature Panera’s signature You Pick Two® where guests can combine certain menu items to craft their ideal meal. The menu also includes protein-rich, vegan and vegetarian items for a delicious and wholesome meal on-the-go.

“We’re pleased to partner with HMSHost to bring Panera to airport and travel plaza locations across the U.S.,” said Dan Wegiel, Panera’s Executive Vice President, Chief Growth & Strategy Officer. “Panera is uniquely positioned to fill the void between quality and convenience for hungry travelers, offering the same better-for-you menu options they know and love from our traditional bakery-cafes, with all the speed they need while in transit. The HMSHost partnership expands consumers’ access to the brand, delivering on our vision to bring Panera closer to those who hunger for our food wherever, whenever and however they choose.”

In addition to Panera’s all-day menu of clean* and flavorful food choices, the brand’s innovative digital kiosk ordering system, popular mobile app and Rapid Pick-Up® feature make it an ideal solution for hungry, time-crunched travelers.

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as Restaurateur with the Highest Regard Customer Service, as well as Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack by Airport Experience News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards gave first place honors to both of HMSHost’s Whisky River locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which includes its award-winning food donation program, as well as plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant Month, Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, 1,000 Acts of Kindness, and Eat Well. Travel Further.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of more than $3.5 billion and employs approximately 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.7 billion in 2018, the group operates in 32 countries and employs over 60,000 people. It manages more than 4,000 stores in more than 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Panera Bread
Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.

So we began with a simple commitment: to bake bread fresh every day in our bakery-cafes. No short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.

These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally for wellness to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing or not using artificial additives (preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources on our No No list) in the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.

We’re also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-up® for to-go orders and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests.

As a result, Panera has been one of the most successful restaurant companies in history. What started as one 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has grown into a company with more than 2,300 units, nearly $6 billion in system-wide sales, and over 100,000 associates.

As of June 25, 2019, there were 2,143 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co.® names. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook ( or Instagram (@panerabread).

*Panera defines “clean” as food on its U.S. menu that’s free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavors and colors from artificial sources, as listed on the company’s No No List.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.