9 Secrets You Need To Know To Maximize Your Order And Experience At Panera

Spending money on a coffee and a bread bowl everyday can rack up money over time. For many reasons, Panera may not be something you’re willing to give up. And that’s perfectly fine, especially if you know how to use the menu to your advantage.

These hacks may not save you a ton of money, but any little bit helps. Coming from a former Panera employee to a website all about offering tips to save money, these 9 ways to order at Panera are sure to be the best thing for both your wallet and your soup bowl addiction.

So, read on for nine amazing ways to save at your local Panera. Maybe you can even spring for a pastry with your year-end savings. Now, that’s what I call a pay off.

1. Secret Menu Items

Similar to Starbucks, Panera has a secret menu. If you’re looking to enhance your Panera experience, you may want to try asking for one of these items.


2. Always Get The Small Drink, Because Free Refills

If you order a small coffee, you’ll get free refills. So, if it’s a whole pot of coffee kind of day, pick a small coffee over a large and reap the rewards.


3. MyPanera Card

Signing up for a rewards card at Panera is free and leads to sweet deals throughout the year (including your birthday). If you’re a frequent visitor, it just makes sense to have one of these.


4. Pastries At Closing Time

Every night, Panera donates its leftover bread and pastries to food pantries and relief organizations.  However, if you are at a store around closing time, you may be lucky and get some free treats from the employees.


5. Discounted Dessert

If you order a meal and a drink, any dessert or pastry is only an additional .99. Not a bad deal, huh?


6. Special Deal Days

Panera offers discounts on certain things throughout the week. For instance, every Tuesday you get a dozen bagels for $6.99. So, why not stock up?


7. Ask For Substitutes

You can substitute different breads, avocado instead of meat, etc. with no additional charge, so take advantage of the ability to mix and match.  You can also add a lot of extras (especially vegetables) to your meal for free.  They charge for some of the exotic ones but there are plenty of ones you get at no cost.


8. Order-Mess Ups

If someone messes up your order, you’re entitled to a free treat. Be sure to take advantage of that to, you know, help you feel better about the fact that they messed up your order.


Better trips to Panera are in store for you. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better. You’re welcome!

9. You Can Order Whatever You Want

If Panera has the ingredients they typically will make whatever you like. For most dishes, you can ask them to substitute or add anything (within reason) to the meal.  This way, you can customize the meal to your personal tastes.

[h/t: Spoon University]