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  • Restaurants
  • Panera Bread is a bakery chain that started in 1981 and has more than 1,700 locations throughout the U.S.

    Panera emphasizes meals prepared from fresh food and served by trained associates.


of surveyed employees said the company does background checks.


of surveyed employees said the company does drug tests.

While it’s not impossible to get a job after your release, it isn’t easy.

If you have experience in working at a restaurant, you might consider applying at a company such as Panera.

Does Panera hire felons? Let’s see.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

What Does Panera Look for When Hiring?

Panera seeks to offer customers and employees a warm and pleasant environment to eat and work.

Panera is committed to employee satisfaction and hiring team members that fit the company profile.

The company looks for enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking employees who can adapt to a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

Panera Hiring Process

You must be at least 18 years old to work at Panera.

The hiring process starts by completing an online application.

At the end of the application is a request for an electronic signature.

Submitting a job application online allows the company to run a background check and a drug screening.

After that, if Panera has some interest in you, an interview will be scheduled.

Entry-level jobs at Panera are typically filled through a short one-on-one interview, which is typically conducted by a manager.

An in-person interview often lasts only 10 to 15 minutes and covers basic interview questions, such as your availability, whether or not you have transportation, your education, and your strengths.

Panera wants to know you as a person and how you can fit in the store to benefit the company as well as yourself.

Interview questions may involve why you want to work at Panera, what about your experience qualifies you to work there, and whether you prefer to work alone or as part of a team.

There are a number of jobs at Panera, but typically they hire for entry positions.

These include working in the kitchen, as a team member, or as a cashier.

A question on the application is about whether or not you have been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, or completed a period of incarceration or probation within the last five years.

Conviction of a crime will not automatically disqualify you from consideration. If you have such a conviction, more details will be requested.

This information could include:

  • Number and nature of the offenses
  • Date of conviction and sentence
  • Date of completion of sentence
  • Any related facts and circumstances regarding the offense

Does Panera Background Check?

While some companies in the restaurant industry don’t do a background check, Panera is not one of them.

A background check will be done.

Panera is interested in verifying the information that you provide about yourself and your work history.

Additionally as you might expect, the company will look at your criminal history.

The main interest here will be for any convictions, especially felonies, during the past seven years.

This is the common practice for many businesses like Panera.

Laws in many states allow for as long as 10 years of history to be considered, but Panera appears to stick with the last seven-year period.

Many Panera Bread locations are franchises.

As such, it may be easier to land a position with a felony depending on the store manager and the location.

A background check here will take about one week to complete.

An Opportunity for Felons?

All evidence that we have seen here is that getting a job at Panera is possible.

They don’t make it easy, but there is a chance of being hired here.

The company doesn’t have a stated policy for dealing with felony convictions.

They do indicate clearly that they look at all aspects of a job candidate’s experience and background.

They emphasize that there is no policy regarding those with a criminal history.

Instead, they consider each applicant on a case-by-case basis.

Does the Type of Felony Matter?

Yes, the type of felony does make a difference with Panera.

This is to be expected though. Since they don’t hire all felons, they must have a way to determine which ones will be considered further.

It’s important to answer all questions about your criminal history, along with all other questions, honestly.

You don’t want to eliminate yourself because of not being open regarding your background.

You might be anxious about revealing information about yourself, thinking that doing so will keep you from being hired.

However, if you lie on the application or in the interview, you will lose you chance for employment here.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you even begin.

Lying on an application is itself a felony offense that could put you back in prison.

Anyway, Panera has strict views of felony offenses and will not hesitate to drop you if one of these shows up on your background check.

The ones that are the most likely to eliminate you are either a violent felony or an offense that involves theft or fraud.

First, a violent felony makes you seem dangerous in Panera’s opinion.

They don’t want their employees or customers fearful of dangerous actions toward them.

While they may not be aware of any criminal convictions you may have the management of the company will know.

That will make them uneasy having you as an employee.

After all, a background check is run at Panera to protect the company, its customers, and employees.

They have to have such a policy in place to prevent any harm from coming to anyone employed there or eating there.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

You can run a background check on yourself, and we suggest doing that.

Why run your own background check?

Don’t you have enough of those when you apply for a job?

Yes, you do.

Doing your own before applying at Panera will give you a heads up on what they will discover about you when they do their background check.

If you have any questions, you can contact an attorney.

Take action and don’t take a risk on the results.

After all, this is your future at stake.

Why not know what would come up in a background check?

The more you know the better prepared you will be to answer any questions that might come up in an interview.

This also means being open with Panera about your past along with your criminal record.

If you are eligible, you could have your record expunged.

That would allow you to honestly answer on an application that you don’t have a conviction on your record.

Steps to Take

You could be hired at Panera.

They could help you in your efforts to reenter society.

If you are honest about your past and don’t have a serious violent offense or a theft charge, you may succeed here.

Being hired there isn’t a given, but what is?

Take advantage of the chance and don’t let your past bring you down.

It’s up to you to decide how important getting a job is.

No, it isn’t easy.

But don’t get discouraged.

A company like Panera can give you a start.

You don’t have to let your mistakes define you.

How you respond to your mistakes should define you, and can help you in your future.

Live a new, honest lifestyle with your family and friends assisting you.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether or not Panera hires felons?

Have you or someone you know tried to get a job at Panera?

What was that like and what happened?

Please tell us in the comments below.

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