Panera Bread CEO: Don't Bring Your Guns Into Our Restaurants
In a move to maintain customers warmth and comfort, Panera along with other fast food companies and retailers choose to ban the entrance to their establishments to weapons.
The 1,800-outlet, $4.2 billion (market cap) company issued a brief statement on Monday after CEO Ron Shaich spoke to CNBC about the decision:
Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.
In the weeks and months leading up to this policy announcement, Panera Bread sought advice from Michael Bloomberg-backed Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, now part of the former Mayor’s $50 million Everytown nonprofit.
“Panera deserves our thanks and our congratulations for taking this important step, and I applaud the company for proactively consulting Moms Demand Action as it developed and implemented its policy,” said the group’s founder Shannon Watts, who has herself become the focus of ire from open carry activists and the NRA in recent months following efforts to see retailers and restaurant chains change their firearms policies.
Watts and her team have most recently spent six figures on an ad blitz aiming to force the hand of Kroger, the country’s largest grocery store chain. As of press time, Kroger maintained it would respect state and local laws on gun rights.