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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Panera?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Panera

Are you looking for a part-time job that you can sink your teeth into?

If you live close to a Panera bakery, there is a good chance they’re hiring. This popular chain boasts more than two thousand branches in the United States and Canada. Panera offers a wide range of simple jobs that come with part-time hours. However, if you are under eighteen years old, you are likely to find the types of jobs you are allowed to do are limited.

If you are wondering, ‘how old do you have to be to work at Panera?’ then it’s time to find out…

how old do you have to be to work at panera

The Panera Hiring Age

You need to be at least sixteen to work at Panera. Teenagers who have a positive attitude and strong communication skills can score an entry-level job. In most cases, they work part-time hours after school and on weekends.

However, you will need to get permission from your parent or guardian before you start work. Apply for a work permit, which they have to sign to give their consent. Your future employer then has to fill out the details of your job and sign your work permit.

Be aware of the restrictions…

Your work permit will be printed with the hours you are allowed to work and other restrictions. Make sure your employer is aware of these restrictions. You also need to make sure your employer gives you a thirty-minute break after you have worked for five hours.

Panera bakeries are usually open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm from Monday to Friday, and 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Branches tend to be busiest on weekends and early evenings. These are the perfect times for students to work part-time shifts.

Jobs For Teenagers At Panera

There are a few different jobs you can do at Panera if you are between sixteen and eighteen. If you have no experience, you will be given paid training when you start work. You will usually take on part-time hours until you have completed your studies.

Bakery-Cafe Associate

This is the main job that is open to sixteen-year-olds. There are several associate positions such as dining room associate, line associate, dishwasher, and cashier. All of these roles come with different daily duties that will be explained when you start work.

You need to be ready to help your teammates with their tasks during quiet periods and be friendly at all times. The starting salary for this job is usually minimum wage. If you have experience and special skills, you could earn up to $15 per hour.

how old do you have to be to works at the panera


This is a popular job with college students and involves making the bread sold in the branch. This includes preparing the dough for baking by placing it in pans and shaping it. Other tasks include topping bread products and monitoring them while they are baking.

You need to be at least eighteen years old to work as a baker at Panera. The starting salary for a baker is $10 per hour, which can rise to $17 per hour over time. Bakers often have to start work at night or early in the morning, making this job ideal for night owls.

Delivery Driver

If you have a full driver’s license, this is a good way to make money while at college. This job involves delivering food to customers quickly and safely. You would be responsible for making sure all orders are correct, and customers are satisfied.

You need to be good at reading maps and finding different locations to do this job. Panera delivery drivers need to be at least eighteen years old and make between minimum wage and $9 per hour plus tips and mileage.

how old do you have to be to work at the panera bread

Panera Employee Benefits

All Panera employees receive discounts on meals, paid training, and free uniforms. If you work especially hard, you may also get a performance bonus from time to time. Most other employee benefits are reserved for people who work full-time.

If you decide to take on a full-time role at Panera when you graduate, you will receive a benefits package. This includes paid vacation days each year, a special stock purchase plan, and a company retirement plan. Other benefits for full-time employees include dental, vision, and medical insurance plans.

Required Work Experience

No experience is necessary to become a bakery-cafe associate at Panera. You will receive full training when you start work to teach you the necessary skills. However, you could score a higher starting salary if you have some work experience.

How To Apply?

You can take a look at the different job opportunities in the careers section of the Panera website. The job listings come with detailed job descriptions that include the requirements and daily duties. This will give you an idea of what you would be expected to do and if you have the right skills.

You can apply for a job online if you want; all the info you need is in our in-depth article covering the Panera Bread Application. When you have found the right job, simply click on the ‘Apply’ button to access the application form. Make sure you complete all the sections of the form and check for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Visit your nearest branch…

The other option is visiting your nearest Panera branch and asking for an application form. You can fill out the form in the bakery and hand it in when you are ready. If you are lucky, the manager may be available to see you, so make sure you dress to impress.

What To Expect At The Interview?

No matter which role you choose, you will need to be interviewed by the hiring manager. The interview should only take a few minutes and is fairly casual. Here are some ways to increase your chances of getting a job offer.

Your Interview Outfit

Make sure you create the right impression by choosing your interview outfit carefully. Choose one that is smart and comfortable. Plain black trousers or a skirt with black shoes and a plain blouse or shirt is a good bet.

Do Your Research

Go on the Panera website before the interview and read about the company’s history and culture. If you run out of things to say during the interview, you can refer to your research. This will help the interviewer know you are serious about wanting to work at Panera.

Preparing Answers to Common Questions

Most interviewers tend to ask standard interview questions to work out if candidates are suitable. This gives you the chance to prepare some of your answers in advance. Do a little research into common interview questions and work out what you want to say. Check out our informative guide to the Panera Bread Interview Questions for all the info you need.

You may also be interested in finding out Does Panera Bread Hire Felons?

Skills Panera Managers Value

Managers look for particular skills when interviewing candidates. Even if you have no work experience, you can still show you have the right skills for the job. Let’s take a closer look at some of the skills that will help secure you a job at Panera.

how old do you have to be to works at the panera bread


You need to be able to respond quickly to the needs of customers. When the bakery is busy, you may have to balance several different tasks at the same time. You should be able to work quickly and efficiently, especially during busy periods.


All employees should be able to work well as part of a team. This means avoiding conflict with other employees and making sure shifts run smoothly. If you see a colleague struggling to get their work done, you should be ready to help them.

Customer Service Skills

Most employees have to interact with customers in some way. Having strong customer service skills means being polite and friendly to customers at all times. You need to be able to stay calm under pressure and be willing to go the extra mile for customers.

Read more: How Much Does Panera Bread Pay?

Why Not Make Your Own Gourmet Sandwiches!

Firstly, if you’re not sure which role is the best for you, check out my Waitress Job Description, or Shift Leader Job Description, or even my Barista Job Description and Line Cook Job Description, as well as my Assistant Restaurant Manager Job Description, and Restaurant General Manager Job Description to help you decide.

There’s nothing like a super delicious sandwich! So, check out the Grilled Cheese Kitchen, The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches, and Max’s Sandwich Book, or what about Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, and of course the Wow! 1001 Homemade Sandwich Recipes, Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food available online in 2023.

Now for the ‘Deli recipe books’ such as The Deli Sandwich Cookbook, How to Feed Friends and Influence People: The Carnegie Deli…A Giant Sandwich, a Little Deli, a Huge Success, or even the Czech Deli Sandwiches, for something different, or the Italian Deli Cookbook, as well as the Vegan Sandwiches Cookbook, the Smith & Deli-cious: Food From Our Deli, and finally The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes to perfect your favorite gourmet sandwich!

Lastly, for a hilarious read is the A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches, also available online today.

Final Thoughts

Panera has a strong reputation for treating employees well, and it is a great place to work. Taking on an entry-level job will teach you customer service skills and other important skills that can help launch your career.

However, it is important to think about a few things before jumping into a new job. Take a look at your study schedule and work out when you are free to take on a part-time job. Make sure your new job will not interfere with your studies in any way.

Check out the times your employer wants you to work and make sure you can take on those hours.

All the very best Working at Panera Bread!

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