‘Never feels worth it’ Customer Criticizes Panera for Spending $40 on 2 ‘Tiny’ Sandwiches

When you pay top dollar, you expect top quality. But what happens when the price remains high, but the portions shrink?

A recent visit to Panera has ignited a fiery debate about value for money, and it’s not just about a sandwich.

The Discontentment

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Joshua, a regular customer at Panera, couldn’t contain his disappointment when he recently visited a newly opened Panera outlet in Medford, Oregon. In a viral video, Joshua documented his experience, showcasing the meal he and another person had just purchased.

The meal, which cost them $40, consisted of two sandwich halves, two cups of soup, a large drink, and two pieces of baguette. Joshua lamented,

“This is what $40 at Panera looks like. Tiny *ss sandwich.”

Joshua further explained that his wife initially mistook the sandwiches for the small pieces of baguette usually served with soup. They were stunned to realize that the sandwiches were indeed the main course.

Joshua shared,

“It’s like a quarter of a sandwich. Our minds were blown, we had to find something else to eat after we finished this ‘sandwich’ and cup of soup.”

The Community Echoes the Sentiment

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The video resonated with many, garnering over 2 million views and over 8,000 comments. Many viewers shared similar experiences, expressing that the value for money at Panera had diminished. One top comment read,

“Prices are crazy there. Sad cause I like the food, but it’s all very overpriced.”

Another person chimed in,

“SAME! Got 2 of the pick 2, no drinks…$40. Never again.”

The consensus was that the food at Panera no longer justified the high prices. A third person noted,

“Yes! It never feels worth it; it’s so small but costs so much. I don’t go there anymore because of this.”

The Impact of Shrinkflation on Franchises

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Illustration. Photo Credit:schankz/ Shutterstock.

In the face of soaring inflation rates, some franchises resort to “shrinkflation” as an alternative to price hikes, aiming to retain customers. This economic phenomenon involves maintaining the price of a product while reducing its quantity.

Notably, fast-food franchises like Domino’s and Chick-fil-A have implemented this strategy, adjusting their menu offerings and sizes.

Domino’s, for instance, has reduced the number of chicken wings in its $7.99 deal and plans to restrict specific deals to online orders only. Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A has consolidated the sizes of several menu items, including specialty drinks, and altered the pricing structure, sparking customer complaints on social platforms.

This trend is not confined to the food industry; everyday items like candy bars and household products are also experiencing shrinkflation, highlighting deeper economic issues like labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.

The duration and long-term impact of this trend remain uncertain.

Panera Bread Portion Sizes: A Community Perspective

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In a Reddit discussion about Panera Bread’s portion sizes, various users, including some who have worked at Panera for several years, shared their observations and experiences. The consensus seems that the portion sizes have largely remained consistent over the years, with minor fluctuations.

Some users noted specific changes, such as adjustments in the amount of ingredients in certain dishes, like the Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich experiencing alterations in bread thickness and cheese quantity. Another user mentioned that some pastry items seemed to have reduced in size over the years.

However, several users affirmed that the core items like salads, soups, and sandwiches have maintained their portion sizes, attributing perceived changes to alterations in container sizes or individual appetite growth.

The discussion provides a nuanced view of the portion size dynamics at Panera Bread, with insights from both employees and customers.

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Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. franchisewire.com/what-is-shrinkflation-and-how-is-it-impacting-franchises/
  2. reddit.com/r/Panera/comments/tl5fqq/portion_sizes/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. It was inspired by this video:

@joshua9410 @Panera Bread “grand opening” in medford, OR. $40 for two cups of soup, the smallest two sandwiches, and one drink. The sandwiches were so tiny my wife thought that they were the little pieces of baguette they give you with the soup until opening, and then we realize they forgot our baguetts. We used to really enjoy panera and i used to get this sandwhich all the time and it was never this small. Its like a quarter of a sandwhich. Our minds were blown, we had to find something else to eat after we finished this “sandwhich” and cup of soup. #panerabread #medford #oregon ♬ original sound – Joshua

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.