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Panera Is Paying $2 Million to Settle a Class Action Lawsuit—And You May Be Owed Funds

The suit accused Panera of misleading customers about delivery prices and fees.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Have you ordered any food deliveries from Panera Bread in the past few years? If so, you may be eligible for a payout thanks to recent litigation targeting the bakery-café chain.

Last year, several consumers filed a class action lawsuit against Panera, alleging that it misled customers about prices and fees for delivery orders made through its app or website. Specifically, the suit accused of Panera promising to provide deliveries that were either free or priced at a low flat rate, USA Today reported. However, the chain allegedly tacked on extra hidden fees, marking up prices for delivery orders by 5% to 7%, the suit said.

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"This secret menu price markup was specifically designed to cover the costs of delivering food and profit on that delivery," the lawsuit stated, per USA Today. "It was, in short, exclusively a charge for using Panera's delivery service and was, therefore, a delivery charge."

Panera has now agreed to settle the case under the condition that it would not admit any wrongdoing regarding the claims. The company plans to pay out $2 million to customers as part of the settlement.

panera bread ordering app
rafapress / Shutterstock

Only customers who ordered Panera's food for delivery between Oct. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, are eligible to receive settlement funds. According to the terms posted online by the Kroll Settlement Administration—which is overseeing the settlement—customers can choose to receive either vouchers for free food or a cash payment via PayPal, Venmo, or other electronic means.

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Eligible customers who go the voucher route will receive two vouchers valued at $9.50 each. Meanwhile, those who opt for electronic payment will receive up to $12.

Customers who think they qualify for the settlement payouts will need to file a claim through the Kroll Settlement Administration website or via mail by the June 10 deadline. The Circuit Court for St. Louis County, Mo., will hold a hearing on May 31 to consider granting final approval to the settlement. Assuming it is approved, customers should expect to receive their payments in about 60 days.

Panera did not immediately respond to our queries for comment on the lawsuit settlement.

In other Panera news, the chain just announced that it has overhauled its food offerings in what it described as its "biggest menu transformation" ever. The revamped menu, which will launch on April 4, includes nine brand-new menu items and new and improved versions of old favorites. Panera also plans to eliminate some menu categories like the flatbread pizzas as part of the transformation.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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