Panera to add 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017

Panera continues to defy the odds. According to this CNBC report the company has announced they will be adding 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017.

Panera Bread is going full-steam ahead to expand delivery services to more of its cafes.

The sandwich shop said it intends to hire 10,000 new employees by the end of the year to assist with this initiative. Some 75 percent of the new hires will be delivery drivers, while the remaining 25 percent will be in-cafe jobs, according to Blaine Hurst, president Panera.

Panera has already rolled out delivery to 15 percent of its system, including 20 percent of its company-owned locations. By the end of 2017, it hopes to expand delivery to 35 percent to 40 percent of system-wide locations.

Hurst expects each cafe to hire seven to 12 drivers and staff members. He said it would cost about $25,000 per cafe to add delivery capabilities, the majority of which goes toward hiring and training labor.

Panera is in the process of being acquired by privately held JAB Holding in a deal valued at about $7.5 billion.

Drivers will be vetted by the company, said Hurst. Their insurance, driving records and car will all be inspected in order for the drivers to be hired and certified to work. Hurst said drivers’ cars will be inspected on a regular basis and drivers will be compensated for their mileage.

By using this Uber-style method, Panera does not have to invest in its own fleet of vehicles. But by screening the drivers itself, it has more control over the guest experience.

The restaurant has also created a new order tracking system that allows customers to see their meals’ expected arrival time, a map of the driver’s progress and a photograph of their driver.

The minimum menu purchase is $5 and the typical delivery fee will be $3, according to the company. Hurst told CNBC that the average check is about $22.