The chance for area customers to savor fresh-baked artisan Panera bread, sandwiches, soups and more is days away, company officials said.
Panera Bread spokeswoman Amanda Burns said doors will open at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for the new bakery-cafe, at 1723 E. Central Texas Expressway in front of the Courtyard by Marriott, at the corner of W.S. Young Drive.
“(The) first 200 customers that make a purchase on opening day will get a Panera stainless steel free coffee mug with a free refill coupon,” Burns said.
The store will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, she said. The Killeen location also features a drive-thru and offers free Wi-Fi.
The general manager is Daniel Combs.
In early April, Brian Schrock, a Panera Bread senior manager of development projects, told the Herald that construction would start at the end of April and take about 120 days.
Killeen’s Panera is company-owned and slightly larger than the average free-standing Panera, Schrock said.
The St. Louis-based food chain built a 4,455-square-foot facility in Killeen at a cost of more than $1 million, according to Killeen’s construction permits.
The facility has a maximum occupancy of 161 people, the permit stated.
According to the company’s second-quarter report, Panera had 881 company-owned and 919 franchise-operated bakery-cafes for a total of 1,818 as of July 1.
The company is maintaining plans to open from 115 to 125 new bakery-cafes in 2014, and its average “weekly net sales performance target for new company-owned bakery-cafes is $41,000 to $43,000” for the fiscal year.
“With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust,” the report states. “Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by chicken raised without antibiotics, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings.”